Diabetic Foot Care

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Published: 31st August 2012
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People often take their mobility for granted, but foot problems can cause physical as well as emotional pain. Foot problems can cause pain and weakness in feet, but they can also cause mental anguish by robbing people of the ability to move around freely. Diabetic feet occur because of poor circulation and dulled nerves; those who have this foot problem have several avenues of treatment open to them.

Approximately 16 million Americans have some form of diabetes, and 25 percent of those either have developed or will develop foot problems. Feet in particular are susceptible to the ravages of diabetes because of two factors: poor circulation and loss of feeling. Diabetes often causes a narrowing of arteries, so circulation--especially to extremities such as hands and feet--is often restricted. Diabetes also often causes Neuropathy, which takes away a person's ability to feel pain or temperature. These two conditions can combine to cause foot problems and can even lead to amputation if proper care of the feet is not taken.

One obvious step that a person with diabetes can take in order to avoid foot problems is to receive medical treatment for their diabetes. Eating a healthy, low sugar diet can help keep diabetes in check, as can taking regular insulin doses and exercising regularly. Eliminating smoking and drinking from a diabetic's life will also help patients deal with diabetes symptoms and will help improve circulation.

Vigilance is also important in terms of preventing and reducing foot problems related to diabetes. Sores, blisters, and cuts can become infected but go undetected due to Neuropathy, so diabetics need to constantly inspect their feet daily in order to detect foot problems. Patients who have trouble bending over or lifting their feet up can enlist the help of family and friends or can use a miniature mirror to inspect the bottoms of their feet.

Another aspect of diabetic foot care is to keep the feet clean. Daily foot washing accompanied by thorough drying will help prevent blisters and infection, as will the use of diabetic foot creams. Diabetic patients should be careful with foot hygiene; accidentally nicking a toe while trimming nails, for example, could also cause foot problems.

Wearing proper shoes will also help diabetic patients. Some foot problems can be prevented altogether by diabetic patients wearing shoes that allow for flexibility and movement. The shoes should fit well but should also allow for toe space and padding that will reduce foot pain. Diabetic patients may even benefit from wearing shoes and socks all the time because the shoes will protect the feet from being injured without the patient's knowledge. Wearing shoes out of the house is also beneficial, particularly when the patient is going to be exposed to the elements. Those who wear shoes often should make sure to properly clean their feet afterwards in order to prevent infection.

Diabetic patients should do all they can to help maintain their circulation to the feet. Wearing tight socks, restrictive footwear, and garters can inhibit circulation, as can crossing the legs as well as smoking. Activity can help fight poor circulation; wiggling the toes and moving the ankles up and down several times a day can greatly improve diabetic feet circulation.

Diabetic patients should never try to remove bunions, corns, or blisters at home as this can lead to serious health complications. Using acid or other chemicals to remove such blemishes can damage diabetic patients' feet, and any sort of home surgery would likely fail due to the diabetic's inability to feel foot pain. Such actions could increase a diabetic's likelihood of incurring foot infections and would potentially increase the drastic nature of the steps that the doctor might have to take to heal the patient's foot.

If a wound on a diabetic patient's foot becomes infected, he or she should seek medical care as soon as possible. The patient's doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics in order to get rid of the infection; if this treatment does not work, then the doctor may admit the patient to a hospital or send the patient to a podiatrist. Some foot infections may lead to amputation, but proper diligence often causes the diabetic patient to notice the infection before it becomes that infected.

While diabetic feet are serious, having them does not mean that life is over. By taking these few simple precautions, diabetics can live full and productive lives. Healthy living, diligent feet inspecting, and proper foot ware can all help prevent the infection of diabetic feet.

Oliver Johnson writes articles for UncomfortableFoot.com about most comfortable womens shoes and men shoes. Your feet have a big job. They help carry and evenly distribute your weight and they take a lot of abuse every single day. This is especially true for people working in jobs where they are on their feet for most of the day. UncomfortableFoot.com is a one of the leading website for the latest comfortable footwear news, products and retailer reviews, advice and how tos as well as daily deals. You will find the most, concerning comfortable shoes, all together in one place. Find out about ugg sandals with support, comfortable boots, clarks sandals for women and the most comfortable hiking boots at UncomfortableFoot.com.

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