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Diabetic Foot Care Guide
When you have diabetes, taking care of yourself suddenly escalates into serious territory. Over time, high blood sugar can damage nerves in the feet, causing you to lose sensation. It’s a condition called neuropathy. Neuropathy can also cause burning, pain, or tingling sensations.
High levels of blood sugar also damages arteries, decreasing blood flow to your feet. If you have an injury, even something as small as a cut, you’re not able to respond with enough blood flow to handle the infection. This could lead to an uncontrolled infection, gangrene (tissue death), bone infection, or even amputation.
Because of neuropathy and wounds, most diabetic patients end up having foot injuries without them knowing where and when they got them. These injuries, if not treated immediately, can lead to foot diseases.
Preventing Foot Disease
Foot disease is a devastating, but potentially avoidable, complication of diabetes, and, as a result, every 30 seconds a lower limb is lost due to diabetes-related amputation somewhere in the world. Diabetic foot complications are among the largest reasons for hospital admissions among patients with diabetes. Likewise, the financial implications are nothing short of impractical.
The best way to prevent lower limb amputation is by taking good care of your feet. What normally works for the average person won’t work for the diabetic, though, so we put up a simple yet complete guide on diabetic foot care to help patients know exactly how to prevent wounds and diseases from occurring on their lower extremities.
Take care of your diabetes.
Make sure to always aim for an optimal blood sugar range or work with your health practitioner to give you some general tips on what to do to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Make sure you get a diet that’s mostly fresh and avoid the sugar at all costs. Regular exercise can also help since it helps improve insulin sensitivity.
Check your feet every day.
Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help. For blisters, prevent them by making use of skin lubricants and shoe pads. Check neuropathy pressure with special foot test equipment like the A+Elite 3-in-1 Retractable Pocket Pen
Ask your doctor for healthcare coverage for special shoes.
These special shoes were built to make sure the patient’s feet are not only protected but also comfortable to prevent scraping or any form of callusing.
Wash your feet every day.
Use anti-bacterial soap and water. Dry them carefully specially between the toes to prevent bacterial growth.
Keep skin soft and smooth.
You can use a thin layer of skin lotion or coconut oil over the tops and bottoms of your feet. Preventing dry skin helps prevent injuries caused by scraping or scratching.
Trim your toenails.
Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file. Trimming your toenails not only prevents bacterial growth but also prevents any injury caused by a long toenail. To have better toe health, make use of toe spacers which are great for bunions, claw toes, hammer toes, and other unsightly foot issues.
Wear shoes and socks at all times.
Don’t go outside wearing nothing but flipflops or worse, being barefoot. Wear shoes that do a good job of covering your entire feet. The shoes must have a smooth lining and bear no objects inside. You can opt to use metatarsal pads to help cushion the balls of your feet and give relief all day long.
Keep blood flowing to your feet.
Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two (2) or three (3) times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time.
Taking care of your feet might not seem much but this one small maintenance can make the difference between being bound to a wheelchair or being able to walk around with your own two legs for the rest of your life.