Diabetic foot care

Diabetes is a disease that affects a very large number of individuals all across the globe. Besides understanding all the dietary limits, related symptoms and associated serious complications that a sufferer must deal with, it is also crucial for one to understand the effect that the disease has on one’s feet.

It is unfortunate, but a lot if not most of diabetes sufferers must also deal with some sort of foot-related problem or infection and it is al due to how the disease affects the entire body. With the right kind of diabetic foot care, a large part of these problems can be completely avoided or managed. However, due to the particular changes that happen in our bodies because of diabetes, lack of proper diabetic foot care can lead to extreme solutions like amputation.

Diabetes neuropathy or diabetes-induced nerve damage affects the peripheral nerves which cover a wide array of nerves like pain receptors, nerves that control our muscles as well as neurons that communicate with various organs. All of these affected nerves lead to symptoms of numbness or complete loss of feeling in one’s foot or feet as well as muscle weakness.

Numb feet means that one may not identify any sort of infection or injury in time. Because of this, one of the tenants of proper diabetic foot care is to regularly check one’s feet for any signs of problems. When something is observed, a visit to a foot specialist is warranted in order to stop the problem in its tracks before it gets too big to deal with.

The nerves become numb due to the constriction of the peripheral blood vessels. This problem is twofold because on the one hand it gives birth to all the problems mentioned earlier and on the other hand it makes treating any infection in that area difficult. This happens because with reduced blood flow comes the reduced action of any antibiotics or medication which is normally used to treat said problem.

Proper diabetic foot care is completely based on the prevention of problems or minimizing the chances for them to occur.

For instance, it is absolutely crucial to check one’s feet on a daily basis and especially do so between your toes, make sure to look for anything out of the ordinary like cuts, scratches, bruises or irritation. If you see anything unusual that should not normally be there, then it is time to go see your podiatrist.

When talking about diabetic foot care one has to pay attention to things a non-sufferer might not care about that much. With a loss of feeling in one’s foot, one will not notice small punctures like those coming from a sharp object embedded in the carpet. If your feet go unchecked for long, such a small puncture can turn into a big problem. Because of this, it isn’t advisable to walk around barefoot, vacuum often and even when it comes to your socks make sure they are made of wool or cotton and don’t have rough seams.

One other factor of diabetic foot care that one has to pay special attention to in everyday life is the temperature of the bath water. If the water is too hot it can damage sensitive feet. The main problem is that a sufferer from neuropathy will not be able to correctly asses the temperature of water with his or her foot. That’s why they should dip their hands up to their wrists in order to properly evaluate the temperature. Another water-related diabetic foot care tip is to carefully dry the areas between the toes. Increased moisture in those areas can make the skin break down faster and give birth to an ulcer.

Part of any proper diabetic foot care is thoroughly cleaning one’s feet of corns, calluses and trimming the toenails on a regular basis. In regards to these issues it is important to avoid using medicated corn pads because even though they will eliminate the corns they will also remove all the surrounding skin which can lead to huge problems for a diabetic. Similarly, it’s never a good idea to use a heating pad for your feet because that may lead to burns.

Last updated on May 7th, 2010 and filed under Diabetes Mellitus. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed