Additional Diabetes Information:
One of the most harrowing thoughts for a diabetic is that of losing a foot or leg due to diabetes. It is an all too common complication of diabetes that an infection begins in a foot and amputation becomes the only solution. There are some timely strategies diabetics can chose to improve their odds of keeping their feet healthy and avoiding this complication.
Diabetics soon learn that a prime focus must be to monitor the level of glucose in their blood and to act quickly to remedy abnormal levels. By using diabetic testing supplies regularly then adjusting food and water intake and a range of other natural solutions, people with diabetes must strive to keep their blood sugars from staying in the high range too often and too long. Avoiding Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels is to avoid the most severe diabetes complications including those that can lead to the loss of a limb.
Problems Diabetics Have with Their Feet
Diabetes causes many changes to a patient's feet. High blood sugar can damage the nerves in the feet, a disease called neuropathy, and that prevents them from feeling when there is an injury to a foot. Infections can fester out of control,. The skin of a diabetic's foot changes too over time and becomes much drier. The result is often cracking and breaking of the skin that can lead to an open sore that is unable to heal. Calluses are another cause for concern because they can thicken and break, causing an ulcer. Ulcers on the feet are open sores. Due to the effects of diabetes, high blood sugar keeps the blood from flowing effectively to the tissue in the feet. This means that wounds and ulcers on the foot are simply unable to heal and, untreated, they turn gangrenous. Diabetics must take special care of their skin and their feet.
Foot Care Best Practice
The first step toward healthy feet is to wash them in warm water every day. Soaking is out- this can lead to soft skin and breakage. Drying them carefully is important, especially between the toes, to prevent any rubbing or breakdown.
Always wear clean, dry socks every new day.
People with diabetes should never go barefoot to avoid stepping on something that could cause a cut or sore.
Daily foot inspections should be performed to look for punctures, red spots, open wounds, lesions, cuts, scrapes, lacerations, and bruises. Patients should use a mirror to get a better look at the underside of their feet and the bottom of the heels.
There are six major locations that all diabetics should check for problems: the tip of the big toe, the base of the little toes, the base of the middle toes, the heel, the outer edge of the foot, and the ball of the foot.
Diabetics should not try to remove calluses or trim their toenails themselves, instead they should seek the services of a podiatrist.
All diabetics should have their doctor inspect their feet routinely at appointments to prevent problems and any cut, wound or lesion should be reported to a doctor immediately.
New Shoes – a diabetic must get shoes that fit properly. Custom-made diabetic shoes are preferable, but any new shoes will require a breaking in period. Always get a foot measurement when buying shoes to ensure a proper fit. Diabetics should not wear pointed toe shoes or high heels. During the breaking in period, new shoes should not be worn for more than two hours at a time at first. The feet should be inspected after wearing the new shoes initially, to ensure that there are no pressure marks. Diabetics should also avoid either over-tightening laces or tying shoes too loosely. Either situation can cause rubbing and ulcerated skin.
A foot care plan is an absolutely essential element of an overall diabetes treatment plan. If a diabetic neglects his feet, it can lead to wounds, ulcers, infections, and the risk of amputation. A daily routine of care, including daily inspection and careful choice of shoes,can help people with diabetes minimize the risk of irreparable damage to the feet.