We are on our feet every day, and they are our most used mode of transportation. However, we hardly give our feet a second thought until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, most people don’t notice any foot problems until they have become severe. Therefore we must take great care of our feet every day. In addition, some health conditions have severe effects on our feet, with diabetes being one of the most common and extreme.
In this informative article, Well Heeled looks at associated foot problems that could be associated with diabetes but you may also want to look at our articles on Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes too.
Foot Problems from Diabetes
The most concerning element of diabetes in the feet is diabetic neuropathy. It causes damage to the nerves in the feet, resulting in someone not feeling pain or discomfort in the feet. You might think that having feet that don’t feel any pain doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but it is. Imagine having a small, sharp rock in your shoe, but you don’t feel it. As the day passes, the stone starts to cut and penetrate the skin of the foot sole. However, it isn’t felt, so nothing is done to prevent further damage. In addition, as the day passes, bacteria from the shoe and humidity start to invest in the open wound. If these infections aren’t noticed, they can become seriously infected and lead to severe consequences. If ignored for long enough, these infections can quickly lead to gangrene or ulcers. Neglecting to receive treatment for gangrene or ulcers could lead to amputation of the foot because there is a risk that the infection can spread to the rest of the body. Therefore, if you are showing any signs of gangrene or ulcers, see your podiatrist as soon as possible.
There is another form of nerve damage caused by diabetes, but it is pretty rare. It is a condition called Charcot’s foot, and it causes your foot’s shape to change. It starts with some irritation or discomfort in the foot, along with a sense of warmth, some redness, and swelling. If this is ignored, it can lead to the bones of the feet moving or even breaking. This, of course, will affect the shape of your foot. Having misshapen feet can make it hard to walk, so anyone experiencing signs of Charcot’s foot should see their podiatrist immediately.
How can I keep my feet healthy if I am diabetic?
Although everyone needs to practice good foot care, it is even more essential for people with diabetes to take proper care of their feet. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, you need to find a podiatrist who can help you with your foot care. Visiting your podiatrist regularly will help you encounter any problems early.
In addition to visiting your podiatrist regularly, you need to do the following for healthy feet:
- Examine your feet at the end of every day to ensure you don’t have any scars, wounds, or scabs.
- Wash your feet frequently. The best would be a morning and evening wash, but if you can’t wash your feet twice a day, wash them at least once a day.
- If you spot any calluses or corns, be sure to work gently when trying to smooth them. If it makes you nervous to do this yourself, visit your podiatrist for help.
- Keep your toenails short and straight. Long and curved toenails can quickly hook against socks or fabric that could lead to unwanted tearing. By keeping your toenails short and straight, you minimize the odds of accidental tearing.
- Invest in good shoes and socks and wear them. A good pair of socks and shoes can help prevent damage to your feet. Therefore you must invest in a good pair of shoes and socks.
- Keep your feet’ temperature controlled. If you have diabetes, you don’t want your feet to struggle with extreme temperatures.
- Your feet’ blood needs to keep flowing. It is recommended that you do daily foot massages and stretches to help the blood flow in your feet. Discuss massage methods and stretching exercises with your podiatrist.
- Don’t skip your foot checks. Being responsible about your podiatrist’s routine visits is very important. If you really can’t make it, don’t cancel but rather postpone to a not much later date.
How do I master self-care when it comes to my feet?
Diabetes is quite different from most serious health conditions because you do a large part of the health care. Of course, your health team is there to offer assistance, but it will be up to you to check that your feet are still healthy and undamaged. If you have nerve damage in your feet because of diabetes, you must be serious about checking your feet daily. After you have washed your feet at night, take a few minutes to check your feet properly. Check the whole foot, including the toes and the soles. If it is hard for you to see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror to check or ask someone to help you look under your feet.
What should I be looking for, you might be asking. When checking your feet, you need to look for these issues:
- any wounds, cuts, scrapes, sores, or spots
- any blisters or swelling of the foot
- any ingrown toenails
- any calluses or corns
- growths or warts on the bottom of the feet
- any signs of infections
- athlete’s foot
- unusual shaping of the foot or toes
If you have any open wounds, sores, cuts, or blisters, clean the area properly and cover it with a bandage until you see your podiatrist. Clean the area twice a day until it is healed or you see your podiatrist. If you spot any of the above problems, it is best to consult your podiatrist.
Foot care should be an important part of everyone’s lifestyle, but people who are diabetic benefit even more from proper foot care. By establishing a daily routine where you check your feet and treat them accordingly, you can help prevent severe infections in your feet. In addition, work closely with your podiatrist because your podiatrist is the person that can help you keep your feet healthy and strong.
You may also wish to take a look at our diabetic socks too, socks that can aid feet and reduce risks associated with diabetes.
Disclaimer and Important Note from Well Heeled
The information contained in all our blog posts, messages and information on all platforms is not to be used as diagnosis material or as professional advice. We love writing our posts and information but you should always seek proper professional advice if you experience any negative health and well being problems. We try to keep our information as accurate as possible but we do not intend to take the place of official, professional advice and information that you can find from you appropriate GP, medial services and other professional bodies that can give appropriate medical guidance and support.
Here are some great external links for you too seek that proper and appropriate foot, diabetes and health care guidance and support:
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