Diabetics have a lot of health and lifestyle issues to keep in mind and tend to. Diet is an extremely important part of managing diabetes better as is staying active and purposefully exercising. The trouble that many diabetics fall into however is in the maintenance of their feet. Following proper diabetic foot care routines is often the downfall that many diabetics experience.
What Is Diabetic Foot Care
Good diabetic foot care is a regimen that ensures that diabetics don't experience debilitating foot problems which can quickly deteriorate their over all health. Generally speaking diabetics are encouraged to inspect all areas of their feet for injury or sounds multiple times a day to ensure foot problems are identified early enough to treat before they worsen and well before infection sets in.
Proper diabetic foot care also suggests that patients wear the right shoes at all times. When exercising you should always wear the best diabetic walking shoes, when lounging at home you should always wear good diabetic house shoes, and at all times you should wear good diabetic socks. Wearing the right medical footwear helps dramatically in protecting the feet from injury as well as from managing injuries from getting worse.
You see diabetes patients have trouble managing blood sugar levels and when those levels get too high too often the elevated levels of glucose in the blood slowly damage the nerve endings in the peripheral limbs as well as the capillaries in the peripheral limbs. As a result nerve damage at the ends of the legs and feet begin developing and blood flow to the same areas is slowed and sometimes blocked entirely.
Through good diabetes management nerve damage can be slowed or stopped but not reversed and repair to the capillaries in the feet can be restored but only over long periods of time. You don't want to wait until problems arise before you start caring for your feet either because a major foot injury can slowly deteriorate your entire body… especially when infection sets in.
Diabetic Foot Complications
When peripheral neuropathy sets in for diabetics major foot complications can arise if you do not follow good foot care habits. The nerve damage in your feet means that your feet are less sensitive to irritation, cuts, or pain in general so it is harder for diabetics to notice simple things like pebbles in a shoe or the severity of stubbed toes, or even the formation of blisters due to pressure points in footwear.
Most people as they experience these feelings they take the time to remove debris in a shoe, clean and dress a cut or wound, or readjust a shoe that is rubbing your foot the wrong way. If a blister or sore is developing a typical person will stop walking so that the wound stops getting bigger. In diabetics neuropathy causes these wounds to worsen before they are noticed and unfortunately they are less able to heal due to blood circulation problems in the foot.
Because circulation is a problem any simple wound that gets infected suddenly becomes a festering infection that is hard to cure and heal. Antibiotics don't work well because they can't travel to the site of the infection due to poor blood flow in the area and white blood cells are less able to clear away the site for the same reasons. Because healing is a problem in diabetic feet complications like infection get really bad as they can threaten the bones in the feet as well as the blood stream.
Because of these complications many diabetics end up losing limbs simply because the wounds and infections in them are severe enough that they threaten the health of the individual. And unfortunately when these major foot complications arise the management of diabetes suffers because of newly limited mobility problems. After all, it's hard to exercise and stay active when you can't walk or get around on your feet.
How Better Diabetic Foot Care Can Improve Quality Of Life
Because the complications of diabetic foot injuries are so severe taking the extra time and care to ensure better foot health in diabetics occurs can actually improve the quality of a diabetics life. Diabetes management is often dictated by one's ability to stay active and keep weight down. As activity levels decrease and weight increases blood sugar control gets harder and harder. Obviously having feet that are healthy will make exercise and physical activity an easier and more enjoyable endeavor.
If you can find a way to spend a bit more money to wear the best shoes for diabetics rather than simply any old shoe you will end up with feet that are in less pain and better shape. This will make walking and playing sports much easier and enjoyable and will make checking your feet for wounds a simpler task as well.
Similarly wearing the best diabetic socks that money can buy can help keep your feet dry while also minimizing pressure points that seams on cheap socks often inflict. Seams on the sides of your toes and the balls of your feet can sometimes cause sores in delicate feet so not having them at all can help in keeping your feet as healthy as possible and in keeping you as active as possible.
At home wearing robust house shoes or slippers can help prevent cuts that bare feet leave you vulnerable to and can help you stop stubbed toes and toenail injuries from occurring. These are the types of injuries that can often lead to infections so minimizing their frequency is a major step in the right direction of keeping your feet healthy and you more able to stay active and mobile.
Foot Wound Inspection
For some people however wearing the best shoes or the best socks for diabetics is not difficult. Diabetic foot care is not a problem in terms or using the right tools and protection for the feet – the problem for many people simply has to do with identifying injuries early on.
If you ask any doctor about what a diabetic needs to do to follow the best foot care habits he or she will tell you that they have to closely monitor their feet for injuries and wounds so that they can be dealt with as early as possible. Diabetics are in fact encouraged by many physicians to inspect their feet in detail multiple times a day in addition to any time a shoe come off the foot.
When a diabetic is removing their shoes and socks they can see wounds when they are very fresh. This gives them the ability to clean them and dress them with topical antibiotics before infection sets in and before the wound gets worse. By staying on top of this inspection process ideally a diabetic foot will stay healthy despite decreased blood flow and decreased sensation.
Following proper diabetic foot care at all times can both extend your life by keeping you active and able bodied but can also give you a better quality of life because it can help keep you able to enjoy life experiences that require mobility and activity. One's quality of life is greatly influenced by the experiences of living life and if you are confined to a wheel chair or a cane and not able to et out and experience life then living can be less fulfilling.
If you or a loved one you know has diabetes then make sure to fully understand the importance of practicing proper foot care, wearing the right shoes and socks, and learning how to better dress wounds and stop infection before it starts. It's worth it for your long term health and worth it for the enjoyment you need to get out of life and it's worth it for your friends and family that only want the best for you.