For those diagnosed with diabetes, all podiatrists will suggest patients to take proper care of their feet. Those who suffer from diabetes have blood sugar levels that are too high, which could lead to nerve or blood vessel damage. As the years go by, nerve damage can lead to numerous problems in the foot.
The most common foot problems reported by diabetic patients are loss of feeling. This means that these individuals may not feel a blister, cut or a sore and then lead to infections and ulcers. Damage to blood vessels, meanwhile, can mean that your feet do not receive enough blood and oxygen, which would make it difficult for your feet to heal.
The worst case scenario for a diabetic patient is an amputation, which was apparent in Canada between 2011 and 2012 when more than 2,000 foot amputations occurred, according to a report released this past summer.
“It's depressing that the number continues to be high and it's particularly discouraging because we know that much of that could be prevented,” said Dr. Jan Hux, chief scientific adviser for the Canadian Diabetes Association. “If the injury is just in a toe, surely they could just do an amputation of the toe? But the very thing that prevails your own body from healing the wound in the toe would prevent it from healing the incision once you've done the surgery. ”
It is highly recommended by health organizations and podiatrists that people with diabetes must check their feet daily to ensure that they do not have a cut or breaks in the skin. But what else can these people do to make sure their feet are in proper health?
Similar to receiving an annual checkup with your physician, it would also be wise to schedule a yearly appointment with a podiatry specialist. Since these professionals are more suited in this line of work, you can have the reassurance that your feet are in good health.
This can be applied to both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals: purchase comfortable shoes. Of course, we want to sport excellent shoes, but indeed our health is much more important. If you buy uncomfortable shoes then you run the risk of long-term pain, cuts, blisters and bruises. Comfortable shoes that have sufficient cushioning are healthier for you.
Since diabetics sometimes can not get sufficient blood flow to their feet, it's crucial to get proper blood circulation. Aside from medical care, there are other ways to do this, such as dumping your feet in hot and cold water, receiving a pedicure or even going for a reflexology session. What should be noted is that the most important element to proper blood flow is regular walking.
It would appear that maintaining your feet is as important as maintaining your hair and nails, but sometimes people will not take the time to care for their feet. With that being said, be sure to wash your feet every day, keep them soft and smooth, trim your toenails regularly and wear socks and shoes at all times.
Smoking is just bad for your health overall, including your feet because smoking cigarettes can lead to even worse blood flow issues in the long-term. If you have diabetes and want to avoid foot problems, stop smoking immediately.