Diabetes, or Diabetes mellitus, is a disorder that is caused normally due to the high blood sugar. The condition results from a defect in body’s ability to produce or utilize insulin which is a pancreas secreted hormone. This hormone is necessary to convert glucose into a form that can be used by cells for growth and energy.
This disease due to its high blood glucose causes two problems that can hurt our feet:
* Nerve damage - This nerve damage prevents the body to feel any kind of pain , heat or cold in our legs and feet. This is known as diabetic neuropathy.
* Poor blood flow - It happens when enough blood does not flows into our legs and feet. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. This problem is called peripheral vascular disease.
So, to avoid complications associated with diabetes, we should take proper care of our legs and feet. Some precautionary measures for healthy feet are:
a) feet should be checked everyday (specially on top, sides, soles, heels, and between the toes)
b) Hand and feet should be washed regularly with Luke warm water.
c) After bathing, soften the feet’s dry skin with lotion, petroleum jelly, lanolin, or oil. Never put lotion between toes.
d) Wear shoes at all times to protect the feet from injury.
e) Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes as nerve damage may prevent us from sensing the pressure from improperly fitting shoes.
f) Inside areas of our shoes should be checked so as to avoid rough areas or torn pieces that can cause irritation.
g) Shoes should be changed each after five hours of wearing during the day to alternate pressure points.
h) Wearing of thong sandals or stockings should be avoided which can cause pressure points.
i) Wear clean dry socks or non-binding panty hose every day. Socks may provide an additional layer of protection between the shoe and your foot.
j) Wear socks to bed if in case of cold feet. In cold weather, wear warm socks and limit the exposure to cold to prevent frostbite.
k) Using of antiseptic solutions on feet should be avoided since these can burn and can injure skin.
l) Heating pad or hot water bottle to the feet should be applied at regular interval during cold.
m) Hot pavement or hot sandy beaches should be avoided.
n) In case of any kind of sores, changes, or signs of infection, report immediately to the doctor.
n) Shoes and socks during visits to our (Untitled 31) care provider should be removed as this will remind us about the necessity of foot examination.
o) And most importantly regular visit to the podiatrist should be done so as to treat foot problems or to remove corns or calluses.