For many people, having foot problems means coming down with the occasional blister or callous. However, for Diabetics, having foot problems can be much more serious and require more intense medical treatment and attention than the average person would ever need for their feet problems. The good news for Diabetics is that in order to help combat the onset of foot injuries, there are some simply steps you can take.
Why do Diabetics tend to have more serious foot problems?
According to the National Libraries of Medicine, when a Diabetic has high blood sugar (which is symptomatic of Diabetes), the high blood sugar levels can damage the body’s nerves and blood vessels. As a result of that nerve damage, Diabetics can lose feeling in their feet and other extremities. (source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/diabeticfoot.html)
Without feeling in their feet and extremities, Diabetics may not be aware when they receive a cut or get a blister. Without proper treatment of even a small wound, the wound can quickly become much more serious and dangerous. Food injuries are serious for two main reasons:
1. As a result of damaged blood vessels, Diabetics experience a loss of optimal blood circulation. As a result of this loss of circulation, Diabetics may not receive an adequate amount of oxygen that is required to heal wounds. Without the oxygen to heal the wounds, the wound stays untreated for longer.
2. When a Diabetic does not feel a wound occur, the Diabetic may not quickly treat the wound. Without quick attention, the wound could develop an infection. In some cases, an infection can become so serious that it leads to an amputation.
How to address foot problems.
One of the first tools Diabetics can use to address foot problems is prevention. While it may not be possible to prevent all foot problems from ever occurring, wearing the proper socks and shoes can go a long way in helping to offset certain risks.
Diabetic socks are designed to improve blood circulation to the legs and feet, which can help to ensure that oxygen-rich blood gets to the foot areas effectively. When oxygen-rich blood can get to the feet, small wounds, such as blisters or cuts, will heal more quickly than otherwise.
According to Ladies’ Home Journal, wearing tight shoes cuts off circulation and leads to swollen feet, which are common amongst Diabetics. Moreover, ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters caused by friction. Diabetic shoes are design to improve circulation and reduce foot swelling that can lead to discomfort and blisters.
Remember: if you have lost feeling in your feet as a result of your Diabetes, it is important that you inspect your feet daily using a mirror or other methods.
What to do if you get blisters
If you get blisters, do not be concerned; blisters are common and happen to everyone at some point or another. According to Ladies’ Home Journal, simply apply a bandage, moleskin, or balm to the blister, making sure that the padding protects the blister from the part in your shoe that gave you the blister. In some cases, you may want to release fluid from the blister. To do so, lance the blister with a sterile needle release the fluid. Never remove the skin, as the skin acts as a protective layer when you have a blister.
Keeping healthy with Diabetes should be easy once you develop the daily habits and tools to ensure that you address all of your medical needs suitably.
- “Happy Feet,” Ladies’ Home Journal; August 2009