In the Unites States alone, there are an estimated 25.8 million people living with Diabetes. That's almost 52 million feet and 258 million toes to take care of. With a few simple and easy steps, you can avoid serious foot complications from Diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for foot problems. As a person with diabetes, you are more vulnerable to foot problems because diabetes can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a pebble in your shoe, so that you could develop a blister, then a sore, then a stubborn infection that might cause you to lose a foot or leg to amputation.
-American Diabetes Association
1. Keep 'Em Clean Wash your feet daily. This can reduce your risk of foot related infections. Take special care to dry between each toe after washing. Applying a thin layer of lotion to the tops and bottoms of your feet can help keep them smooth, but avoid lotion between the toes. Too much moisture between toes can be a problem.
2. Never Soak Your Feet Soaking your feet for prolonged periods of time can actually dry out the skin, causing cracks that can lead to infection.
3. Keep Direct Heat Away From Your Feet Avoid direct contact with heaters, electric blankets, how water bottles, etc. Decreased foot sensation could lead to burns or other injuries.
4. Use Caution When Trimming Toenails Always cut nails straight across to avoid ingrown nails. If you can't reach your toes to trim, always ask for help.
5. Always Wear Shoes That Fit Properly Avoiding going barefoot is always a good idea. When wearing shoes, making sure they are well-fitting and comfortable is a must.
6. Invest In Diabetic Friendly Socks Socks that are specifically designed for people with Diabetes can be a great way to keep your feet healthy. Look for white (dyes can cause irritation), seamless socks that are made from acrylic fibers. Acrylic socks are more effective at keeping moisture away fromthe skin than cotton.
Looking for a good Diabetic sock? Smartfit Seamless Diabetic Socks from Therfirm are specially designed and constructed for sensitive feet. These seamless socks provide a comfortable, wrinkle-free fit with absolutely no bunching, giving you unmatched comfort with a soft stretch to ensure that there is no circulation restriction. SmartKnit socks are made of moisture-wicking, antibacterial fibers to provide a dry, healthy environment for feet and toes.
7. Keep The Blood Flowing When sitting, put your feet up if possible. Avoid crossing your legs and to make sure the circulation is good in your feet, do small foot excercises - like wiggling or rotationg feet and ankles for 5 minutes 2-3 times per day.
8. Do A Daily Foot Check Being aware of the condition of your feet makes it easier to catch small problems before they turn into big ones.
9. Work With Your Healthcare Providers the best way to avoid complications is prevention. Work with your healthcare team to keep your blood sugar in your target range and notify them immediately if there are any problems.