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Diabetes Foot Care



Diabetes Foot Care

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

As an individual, you are aware that you should take extra precautions to secure your health if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. These include monitoring your blood sugar, watching what you eat and regulating your activity. The precautions also include not taking your feet granted because feet are a source of potential problems stemming from the complication of this disorder.

How does it happen?

Increased blood sugar levels affect the blood vessels in the body over time. Sugar-based substance lines the walls of the small vessels, and this causes them to thicken, become weaker and less efficient. Fatty deposits reduce circulation, clog the arteries and cause hardening of the arteries. The foot is at higher risk of injury and infection when circulation to the leg is decreased.

Diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage that occur because of the side effect is the second threat to those who have diabetes. The nerve of the foot does not function well in sending messages to the brain about cold, heat itching, pain and other discomforts and sensations when they damage. This adds to the risk of an unknown injury that goes untreated resulting to infection and increases the chances of further injury. One in five hospitalised patient from diabetes is related to a food problem.

What to look for: It should be the habit of a patient with diabetes to check their feet on a regular basis at least twice a day. Try to make this a routine so that you won’t forget. Also, it’s a good idea to check after strenuous activity such as aerobic exercise.

Good times to check (in addition to scheduled times):

  • Carefully watch for any chafing, rubbing, redness or blisters that might happen if you’ve recently bought a new pair of shoes. Also, check to see if your feet are overly damp or sweaty as this kind of situation can result in fungal infections.
  • Examine your feet if you have been walking or standing too long than you are accustomed.
  • Take a moment to look at your feet when changing shoes such as going from work footwear to athletic shoes or from casual shoes to dress shoes. Pull off your socks and check between your toes and the surface of each foot.

Other notes: No injury is minor for the person with diabetes. Loss of circulation in the feet signifies a problem may go untreated before it becomes severe. Poor circulation can result in increased risk of infections.

What it means to you:

Help yourself by practicing preventive medicine. Be proactive and be aggressive. Ensure you prevent the skin of your feet from becoming compromised. Below are some tips:

  • Inform your condition to any health care you see. Do not assume; diabetes can necessitate different treatment of many other diseases.
  • Keep your toenail neat and short. If the toenails aren’t causing you any problems, clip them on a regular basis.
  • Ensure you see a podiatric to help you understand the risks of having a nails field or your cuticles trimmed in a salon before deciding on a pedicure.
  • Observe all changes in your hand and don’t let fungus infection get out of hand, so see the podiatric physician for help.
  • If you notice ulcers, corns, warts or hard skin on your feet, don’t attempt to treat or remove them yourself instead contact a podiatric professional to take care of the situation.
  • Use tepid water and mild soap to wash your feet every day and don’t soak for an extended period. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Stop smoking if you’re a smoker as smoking impairs circulation particularly in those that have diabetes resulting to severe foot and leg problem.
  • If you walk on the hot surface, try to avoid it, or you wear shoes that cover your foot and leg, also do not allow sand to enter.

Note to parents or caretaker of children with diabetes who because of physical or developmental challenges cannot take part or responsible for their own foot care. Parents of young children with diabetes should set up and encourage the child to part take in a routine of foot inspection rather than frightening. Encourage him or her to take increasing responsibility for foot check as the child gets older and always look for changes such as continue scratching and stomping of the feet or rubbing them on the ground and activity level or posture that signify that the child has developed a problem or sustain an injury. The individual should be able to take limited responsibility for checking his or her feet and reporting them depending upon the specific needs and conditions of them.

Wheelchair-bound Individuals with diabetes:

An individual who has been diagnosed with diabetes and who is wheelchair bond should also have a regular foot check either by caretaker or healthcare professional or by himself or herself. For example, a patient who has paraplegia may not be aware of a wart, ulcer, blister, cut and other problem to the feet despite the fact that that he or she is fully cognisant of what is happening. Such patient should be taught how to make foot care checks a part of the daily routine. The professional staff, whose job is to look out for problems and report them to qualified authority, should care for elderly men and women.

What happens if I injured my foot?

An accident can happen anytime, no matter how careful you are because nobody is perfect. Our feet are subjected to trauma every day, we all stumble, trip and stub our toes, get insects bites and strings, step on things we shouldn’t and drop heavy objects. Don’t panic if you sustain an injury in your foot, instead call and report the damage immediately to a professional. Your podiatric physician may want to watch the injury to see if it worsens before making appointment depending on the condition of the injury. A quick trip to the emergency room may be in order in urgent cases.

You at the risk of infection, secondary injury and other risks if you’re injured and do not report. Remember that if you’re diabetes patients, you are more at higher risk that a person who does not have this disorder. Any problem left untreated can worsen and threaten both the feet and the legs. This problem often leads to amputation and life-threatening infections. A good foot care and a careful, continual monitoring is the only thing standing between you and such a situation.

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