When you have diabetes, you need to take special care of your feet. Diabetes foot problems are getting more common. According to the American Diabetes Association one out of five diabetic patient seeks hospital care due to foot problems. Diabetes foot problems arise because of lot of glucose in the bloodstream or lack of blood flow.
Nerve damage, irregular blood circulation can lead to serious complications in the future. Although you can take some precaution to prevent your feet. Talk with a diabetes specialist, he or she can give you more specific advice about diabetes foot care depending on your condition.
Diabetes foot Complications
The following feet complications may arise due to high blood glucose level:
- Neuropathy: It is hard to believe diabetes can make your feet feels numb or less your ability to feel pain. This type of nerve damage is called neuropathy. The neuropathy can worsen in some cases. Some Patient can feel pain, problems in digestive system, urinary track, blood vessels and heart. How you will feel numb? Suppose you had a tack or stone in your shoes. You are working all day without feeling anything. At the end of the day you have discovered it. Or you have a blister in your feet. You didn’t feel anything until you see it. Diabetic neuropathy is a common problem for diabetes patient and the most alarming one. Some associated complications with neuropathy may involve loss of a limb, urinary track infections, sexual dysfunctions and many serious complications. You can control it by maintaining a tight blood sugar control and living a healthy lifestyle.
- Amputation: Your carelessness can lead you to amputation. People with diabetes are more likely to have a foot amputated comparing to the others. Some diabetes patients suffer from peripheral arterial disease (PAD), it reduces the blood circulation to the feet. Some of them have neuropathy. Two problems together can create infections and ulcers too easily that may lead to amputation. You should not neglect your diabetes foot problems. Consult with your doctor and follow up regularly.
- Poor circulation: One of the major problem of diabetes foot is poor blood circulation. You feet may fail to fight against infection or if you have any infection, it will delay the healing process. One of the major reasons behind that is smoking. You are strictly suggested to quite smoking. Smoking makes the arteries harden faster. Sometimes people feel pain in their calves, especially when trying to walk faster or up a hill or on a hard surface. This is known as intermittent claudication. If you feel cold you should tempt to warm them. Don’t put your leg into too much warm water. Try water bags or heating pads. The best way to warm your feet is to use socks. Some medications may improve the blood circulation.
- Change of Skin: Diabetes can change the color of your foot skin, the skin may seem gray, peel and crack. Your foot becomes dry because lack of moisturizer. When you have diabetes the nerve of foot fails to produce enough moisturizer to invigorate your foot. You need to try artificial creams and moisturizer. After taking a bath, dry your foot and put creams that contain long lasting moisturizer. You can also use petroleum jelly to make a thin layer. Don’t use oils and creams between your toes, extra moist can cause infections. Avoid soaking your feet, it will make your foot dry.
- Calluses: Calluses can occur to any person. If you walk regularly, sometimes you will notice calluses on your feet. In case of diabetes calluses are seen more often and built up faster on diabetes foot. Reason behind it high pressure areas under foot. Therapeutic shoes and inserts will help in case of too much calluses. If calluses are not trimmed, it gets very thick and can break down. It can turn up into open sores. Never try to cut off your own calluses by yourself, this may lead to infections. You should also avoid chemicals to remove calluses. Use a pumice stone to remove dead skin and control calluses. For best result, wet your foot and use soap along with the pumice stone.
Diabetes foot care tips
Some preventive measure can minimize the risk of diabetes foot related complication. They are as follows:
- Keep your diabetes in control. Consult with your health care provider regularly.
- Clean your foot everyday and properly dry them.
- Check your foot regularly, if possible every day. If you see any blister, rashes or spots look unusual to you then consult with a diabetes specialist immediately.
- Avoid walking barefoot. Always wear socks and comfortable shoes.
- Be active physically. Manage a team for working out, you won’t feel bored while exercising.
- Keep your skin soft and smooth. Use lotions, petroleum jelly or oil every day.
- Keep your feet away from too much heat or cold. Don’t put your foot in too much hot water. When using heating machine, hot water bag use carefully, you might burn your leg without realizing it.
- Keep the blood flow normal to your feet. While sitting put your legs up. Don’t cross your leg for a long time. Move your ankles up and down after every five minutes, minimum three times a day.
- Quit smoking and alcoholing habit. You will be thundered if you know the realtion between diabetes and alchohol.
- If you need more specific medications, consult with your doctor.
We hope our tips will create awareness. If you are a diabetic patient you will start following the tips immediately. Don’t forget to share your ideas with us.