6 Foot Care Tips for Diabetes
- High blood sugar puts you at a higher risk for blisters, bunions, ulcers, corns, and calluses
- When a person has diabetes, even the minor injuries may lead to potentially disabling foot infections
- High blood sugar levels damage the nerves and lead to a condition called neuropathy
- Here are a few tips to help protect your feet from infection
Are you suffering from diabetes? If yes, then you may encounter problems with your feet and legs. High blood sugar puts you at a higher risk for blisters, bunions, ulcers, corns, and calluses. When a person has diabetes, even minor injuries may lead to potentially disabling foot infections.
High blood sugar levels damage the nerves and have a negative effect on the nervous system’s cells. This leads to a condition called diabetic neuropathy – a condition in which the foot and the leg lose sensation. Neuropathy leads to the dryness of the skin and the feet can’t receive the brain’s message to sweat. This increases the possibility of the germs to enter the body. Diabetes also causes the blood vessels to reduce in size and harden, which makes it difficult for the feet to fight that infection.
To help protect your feet from such infections, you can safely and quickly make some lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips that will help you fight the infections in the best possible way:
Do Not Put Your Feet in Hot Water
Read: What is a Diabetic Foot?
People with diabetes develop neuropathy and it becomes hard for them to tell if the water is too hot or not. They may burn their skin without noticing. Checking the temperature with your feet could lead to some serious damage, as burns will make it easier for the infections to enter the body. Instead, use your elbow to check the water temperature before using the water.
Do Not Go Barefoot Anywhere
Diabetic people must wear shoes inside and outside to protect themselves from infections. Not wearing shoes inside the house can put you at a higher risk for small scrapes, cuts, and penetration by some sharp objects. In case of nerve damage, the person would not feel these damages until it is too late. You should always wear shoes and should not walk barefoot at all.
Always Keep Your Feet Dry
The skin between the toes is moist and can easily lead to an infection. Make sure you dry off your feet after washing them. After this, you can prevent dry and cracked skin by using a moisturizer. Immediately remove wet or sweaty shoes or socks to avoid all kinds of infections. Also, consult your podiatrist for the best shoes for the shape of your feet.
Maintain Good Blood Glucose Levels
Controlling your blood sugar levels will help you control neuropathy and help your feet become healthier for a long period of time. If you already have an infection, high blood sugar levels will make it even harder for your body to fight it. Healthier blood sugar levels mean healthier feet.
The harmful particles in cigarette damages and constricts the blood vessels. It takes the nutrients away from your feet and your feet are deprived of the oxygen-rich blood that fights the infection and keeps them healthy. Smoking leads to many other problems and is a deadly addiction. Remember that smoking kills not just you but everybody around you as well.
Examine Your Feet Every Day
Many doctors recommend that examining both feet in the morning as well as in the evening is necessary. Check carefully the bottom of your foot and in between the toes. Look at the soul for any cuts, wounds, irritated spots or splinters. Neuropathy makes it difficlut for people to feel such problems.
Indulge in Low-impact Exercises
Be smart about what kind of exercise is good for you. If you have neuropathy then jogging, jumping, hopping and bouncing is not good for your feet. You may get injured while doing such strenuous exercises. Instead, indulge in low-impact exercises like swimming and walking that do not put too much pressure on the foot. Make sure that you indulge in some kind of exercise as it is extremely important for people suffering from diabetes.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 13, 2018
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