Diabetes is a systemic metabolic disorder that impairs the body’s ability to absorb glucose from the blood stream and provide it to the tissue cells that require it for normal activity and health. The elevated blood glucose levels that remain in the bloodstream affect all body organs and systems, including the circulatory system and the peripheral nerves of the lower limb.
How to care your feet when you’re a diabetic?
If you, or someone in your care has been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to take extra precautions to ensure good health. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels, regulate physical activity and watch what you eat. Don’t forget-diabetes can be dangerous for your feet as well. For a diabetic, no foot injury is trivial. Diabetes can cause nerve damage, reduced blood flow and a reduced ability for the body to fight infection. This damage makes it harder to heal and to resist infection. if problems do exist. Even small cuts, sores or blisters can have serious consequences.
What Can I Do to Protect My Feet?
Diabetes requires a different level of treatment and care. To avoid serious foot problems, inspect your feet every day. If you notice that the skin is compromised, be proactive in your care. Notify a healthcare professional of your condition right away. Parents of young children with diabetes should set up routine foot inspections. Watch for changes in activity level or posture that could show a child has sustained an injury.
Cut toenails carefully
Clip your toenails on a regular basis and keep them short. Soak your feet in warm bathwater to soften your toenails before cutting. Trim the nails straight across, and avoid clipping down too far in the corners as tis may cause an infected ingrown toe nail.
Wash your feet in warm water
Keep your feet clean by washing them daily with warm water and mild soap. Use a soft washcloth and dry carefully between your toes. Set up a routine where you check for cuts or infections between the toes and under the feet.
Avoid certain types of socks
Wear wool or cotton socks and avoid those with elastic, as these can hinder circulation. Ideally choose socks without a toe seam as any friction can cause blisters or other injury.
Don’t treat corns, warts or calluses by yourself
Over-the-counter products and home remedies can burn the skin and cause permanent damage to your feet. Visit a podiatrist for appropriate treatment.
Moisturise your feet
Use unscented moisturiser to keep dry skin from cracking and itching. Baby oil and petroleum jelly are also safe to use. Make sure you don’t put on socks or shoes while your feet are still damp, to avoid fungal infections.
Never walk barefoot
Walking without shoes leaves your feet vulnerable to infection and injury. Always wear shoes, even in your own home.
Wear well-fitting shoes
Proper footwear can prevent serious foot problems. Footwear should not rub or cause pressure. Our team of specialists can help you select a brand and shoe design that fit your foot type and lifestyle. View the range from www.balancefootwear.com.au.
Get regular podiatry check-ups
What Happens If I Hurt My Foot?
No matter how careful you are, accidents will happen. We all trip, stub our toes and drop heavy objects. With diabetes, you are at greater risk of non-healing, infection and ulceration. Injuries left untreated can become serious, sometimes resulting in the need for amputation. If you sustain an injury, report it immediately to a professional. Diabetics cannot afford to be complacent. Remain proactive when caring for your feet. With daily precautions and treatment after injury, you can still enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.