Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that is caused by either the pancreas not producing enough insulin or the body’s cells becoming resistant to insulin. Either way, it can lead to an imbalance in blood sugar levels which can cause serious problems such as diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), coma, or death. The best way to prevent these complications is for patients to get proper treatment and maintain tight control over their blood sugar levels. To help you do so, we’ve compiled some tips on how people with diabetes should take care of their feet.
1) Find The Right Socks
Your feet are particularly prone to the damage caused by diabetes. The condition reduces blood flow, which means that your feet receive less oxygen and nutrients. As a result, they may begin to change color or develop wounds that don’t heal properly due to an impaired immune system.
In order to keep these problems from occurring, always wear socks that fit well and make sure to change them often. Avoid socks that are tight or made of a material that doesn’t breathe, such as nylon. Instead, try wearing wool or cotton socks, which will help keep your feet dry and comfortable.
However, you should choose physician-approved socks, because non-binding socks provide comfort which is essential to people with diabetes. Besides diabetes, they are also recommended for other circulatory problems, edema, and neuropathy.
2) Find The Right Shoes
Just like your socks, the shoes you wear also play a crucial role in protecting your feet from the damaging effects of diabetes. For starters, make sure that your shoes have plenty of room in the toe box so that your toes can move around.
You should also avoid shoes with high heels or pointed toes, as they can put extra strain on your feet and ankles. In addition, you should have shoes that fit well and provide stability to reduce your risk of falling. Beware of shoes that are too tight, as they can compress the muscles in your feet or cause numbness.
Some of the best shoes for people with diabetes are those that allow plenty of room for your toes to move around naturally, such as athletic shoes. You should also look for shoes that have a low heel and provide you with good traction so there is less risk of slipping. If you want to wear dress shoes or high heels, don’t wear them for more than a few hours at a time.
3) Examine Your Feet Daily
It’s important to examine your feet every morning and before going to bed, as this is the only way you can know if there is any damage. Start by looking for blisters or red areas, which may indicate an infection or another type of problem. If necessary, consult with your doctor and they can prescribe a treatment to help you make any necessary adjustments.
During this examination, you should also check your nails, as they provide another way to monitor changes in your feet. To do so, look for discoloration or indentations that may indicate trouble such as the presence of fungus. If necessary, talk with your doctor about treatment options to resolve the problem.
4) Keep Track Of Your Blood Sugar Levels
Proper foot care can be difficult when you have diabetes, but it becomes even more challenging if your blood sugar levels are constantly unstable. Make sure that you monitor your levels every day so you know what’s happening with your body and how it’s responding to your treatment. Don’t leave this task until the last minute, as getting it done as quickly as possible is crucial to your overall health and well-being.
If you have type 1 diabetes, an electronic device called a continuous glucose monitor can give you all of the information you need about your blood sugar levels. This means that whenever you want to know what your blood sugar is doing, you can just take a quick reading.
If you have type 2 diabetes, regular blood sugar testing is still important, but it’s also a good idea to track your A1C levels every three to six months. This will give you an idea of how well you’re managing your diabetes and whether any changes need to be made to your treatment plan.
5) Types Of Diabetic Foot Problems
There are a number of different foot problems that can occur in people with diabetes. Some of these include:
- Neuropathy: This is a condition that results in nerve damage, which can affect the way you walk or even cause you to lose your balance. As a result, you may not be able to feel pain in your feet, which can lead to serious injuries if you injure yourself.
- Calluses: These are hardened areas of skin that appear on the bottom of your feet and can make it painful to walk. Calluses can become extremely painful if they turn into ulcers or open sores.
- Charcot joint: This can occur if you have nerve damage and don’t feel pain. It’s a serious problem that often requires surgery to fix, as it makes it easy for you to break bones in your feet.
- Athlete’s foot: This is a common infection that causes itching and burning sensations, and can quickly spread to other areas of your body.
- Fungal nails: An infection in your nail beds is common in people with diabetes. It often takes a long time to heal and may require treatment with oral medications or laser therapy.
Sometimes, people with diabetes can develop foot problems that can not be treated and in those situations, amputation is the only solution. If you’re worried that you may be at risk for this, talk to your doctor about what you can do to lower your chances.
Diabetes is a serious condition that requires proper care and attention. This article has provided you with some tips on how to manage diabetes, including the importance of examining your feet daily, tracking blood sugar levels, and wearing appropriate footwear. We hope these pointers provide you with helpful information for living well with this disease.