Diabetic Foot Care Tips
For diabetics, regulating insulin levels isn't the only health concern. People diagnosed with disease are also at risk for foot complications brought on by the disease. If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, make sure you understand proper foot protection.
Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that often effects individuals who have dealt with uncontrolled diabetes for some time. When the body's insulin levels are rampant, this can lead to nerve damage. Damaged nerves in your lower extremities, such as your feet and legs, can cause a reduced ability to feel temperature sensation or pain.
The inability to feel pain is especially dangerous because if a diabetic patient gets a cut on their foot and is unaware of this, the cut could become infected. In the case of a severe infection that spreads, this could even lead to an amputation. Since your nerves power your muscles, a damaged nerve may also prevent your foot muscles from functioning correctly. In this case, your feet might not be properly aligned when you stand up, placing more pressure on certain parts of the foot. This pressure can lead to the formation of an ulcer.
Treatment And Prevention
The most important thing to do to avoid this condition is to keep your blood glucose levels in a safe range. If you are having a difficult time doing so, consider creating a food journal since all foods effect people differently. A journal allows you to more accurately monitor your body's reaction to food, allowing you to more effectively plan your diet.
Protect your feet with proper footwear. Make sure you are wearing shoes that are shock absorbent. With a diabetes diagnosis, you are already at an increased risk for nerve damage. Shoes that have poor shock absorbing qualities only increase your risk of damage because they put an excessive amount of vertical pressure on the bottom of the foot, which can overtime lead to nerve damage.
Orthotics are also a great tool for diabetes patients. One option is a custom-fitted shoe insert. The insert is designed to lessen the amount of pressure placed on your feet when standing and walking. A common material used in these inserts is Plastazote, a material that is designed to limit the amount of pressure being placed on the foot in a single area using heat sensory.
Make sure that you are discussing your foot concerns with a podiatrist right away to ensure your foot health is protected.