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Diabetes Foot Care – Causes, Prevention and Treatment

Diabetes mellitus, also called diabetes, is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar (glucose) levels. Diabetes cannot be cured, but it often can be managed with proper medical care, diet, and regular exercise. Symptoms of diabetes include blurred vision, constant hunger, fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst.
Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet – even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Foot ulcers and amputations are a major cause of morbidity, disability, as well as emotional and physical costs for people with diabetes. High blood glucose from diabetes causes two problems that can hurt your feet:

Nerve damage : High blood sugar can damage the nerves of the foot, decreasing a person’s ability to notice pain and pressure. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation.
Poor blood flow : High blood sugar damages blood vessels which decreases blood flow to the foot. It weakens the skin, contributes to ulcer formation and prevents healing. Deep skin and bone infections can also occur.
Skin changes : Excessive skin dryness, scaling, and cracking may indicate that circulation to the skin is compromised.
Deformities : The structure and appearance of the feet and foot joints can indicate diabetic complications. Diabetes can also affect the joints, making them stiffer.
– People suffering with diabetes are more prone to infection.

Because of this, you can face number of problems:
– The foot may get damaged and you are not aware of it.
– Foot ulcers.
– Infections can spread more easily.
– Diabetics is the main cause of amputations.

How to take care of your feet

– Maintain your sugar levels.
– Quit smoking.
– Wash your feet everyday with warm water.
– Moisturize your feet with some lotion. Do not keep them dry.
– Keep feet dry especially between the toes.
– File corns and calluses gently.
– Check your foot daily for cuts, corns, blisters, sores etc.
– Keep your nails cut and filed.
– Avoid going barefoot, even in your own home.
– Exercise daily to promote good circulation. Avoid sitting with legs crossed or standing in one position for prolonged periods of time.
– Get a foot exam by your health care provider at least twice a year and learn whether you have nerve damage.

What should I look for when choosing shoes and socks?

– Don’t wear shoes without socks.
– Don’t wear sandals or other open-toed shoes.
– Wear shoes made out of canvas, leather, or suede.
– Avoid high-heeled shoes and shoes with pointed toes.
– Don’t wear uncomfortable or tight shoes that rub or cut into your feet.
– Talk to your doctor before you buy special shoes or inserts.
– Change socks and shoes every day. Have at least 2 pairs of shoes so you can switch pairs every other day.
– Do not wear stockings with seams that can cause pressure points.
– Wear socks to bed if your feet are cold.

NOTE: Do not use antiseptic solutions, heating pad or hot water bottle to the feet.

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