The feet are especially vulnerable for people that have diabetes which in the worst-case scenario might even lead to threatening conditions that could result in the loss of a limb. Which is why people with diabetes need to take extra care and precautions to protect their feet from infection.
Blood sugar is one of the most important elements of a person’s health that is often neglected. And can be influenced negatively by stress, lack of exercise, bad sleeping habits or genetics.
Many countries around the world are battling with diabetes, India being one of them. And although India has several health issues it is fighting against diabetes proves to be the most worrying. A study by the ADA has attributed the situation in India to both genetics and the low-activity lifestyle that’s been adopted by India’s growing middle class.
So how does diabetes affect your feet?
If your blood sugar levels aren’t regulated or balanced it may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy which can cause tingling and pain and a loss of sensation in your feet. This can lead to more severe problems because you’ll no longer be able to feel any blisters or cuts you might get which can lead to infections. And because of the low amount of blood in your feet, the infection will take longer to heal. In some cases, a bad infection that never heals might lead to gangrene. And if it doesn’t get better with treatment, then amputation is the only option left.
The other main foot related problem for diabetics is peripheral vascular disease. It is a condition in which the nerves in the peripheral nervous system become damaged. This condition damages the nerves responsible for sensation in the hands and legs. In the worst-case scenario, it can cut off blood circulation to the point that even standing for 10 minutes becomes a challenge. Frightening I know.
To try and help those of you living with diabetes, we at podolite.com have compiled a list of the top tips suggested by podiatrists and orthopaedics that will help keep your feet healthy and prevent future problems.
First on the list is exercise. It’s both accessible and beneficial for the human body. The greatest benefits of exercising regularly are the build-up of muscle power and the increase in circulation throughout the whole body. So, go on that jog you’ve been putting off for a while and get active.
A Healthy Diet
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is especially true for people with underlying conditions. Interestingly enough, people tend to forget that the human body is similar to a car. And like a car, the human body runs on fuel. But if the wrong fuel is being consumed, how long can the car or the body be expected to run for? That’s right, not long at all. A lot of studies support low-carb diet treatments of diabetes. So, make sure to include eggs, green leaf, broccoli, nuts and turmeric in your everyday meals. And avoid foods such as rice and sugar at all cost! Eating foods that help keep your blood sugar, insulin and inflammation under control dramatically reduce your risk of developing complications.
Check your feet everyday
As mentioned earlier in the post it is possible for you to problems with your feet, but not feel any pain. It’s important that you check your feet regularly to spot any problems before they get too serious. A great way to remember is to check your feet in the evening after you take off your footwear. Make sure you check for
- Cuts, sores or red spots
- Swelling or fluid-filled blisters
- Ingrown toenails – when the edge of your nail grows into your skin
- Corns or calluses – spots of rough skin caused by excessive rubbing
- Plantar warts – which are flesh-coloured growths on the bottom of the feet
Wear MCR/MCP footwear
One of the best, simple and effective ways to maintain the health of your feet is buying footwear which is made of MCR (Micro Cellular Rubber). MCR are soft skin friendly rubber sheets that help to reduce the pain caused by diabetes. Check out Podolite’s range of specialised footwear which has a proven track record of helping patients feel comfortable and at ease while wearing the MCR infused footwear.
Wear Diabetic socks
Another essential part of the diabetic foot care plan apart from footwear is the socks. Certain socks are specially designed for diabetics. These socks are usually designed without seams to reduce the chance of blistering and are made to control moisture in order to reduce the risk of fungal infection.
Wash your feet daily
One of the best ways to keep your feet healthy is having good hygiene. Make sure to clean your feet every night in hot water as it destroys the bacteria that has been developing throughout the day. This is especially important as diabetic feet are more prone to attracting bacteria which can cause corns and blisters to develop.
Promote blood flow to your feet
When you’re inside sitting down, make sure to elevate your feet and wiggle your toes periodically. Once again, make sure you’re getting enough exercise. It’ll go a long way to keeping your feet and body healthy.
Trim your nails regularly and carefully
Trim your toenails and keep them short. Rounded nails can grow inward which might lead to infection. Gently smooth each nail with an emery board or non-sharp nail file. Trimming in this way helps to prevent cutting your skin and keeps the nails from growing into your skin.
These small tips are tried and tested and can help you maintain the health of your feet for the foreseeable future. Remember, if you allow the problem to reach a stage where nothing can be done, then you’ll only have yourself to blame. Don’t let that happen.