One of the scariest things a diabetic can face aside from their blood sugar levels getting out of control is when diabetic foot ulcers crop up. Many long term diabetics have slowly developed neuropathy in the feet and lower limbs as a result of living with diabetes. Basically chronically elevated levels of blood sugar can slowly damage nerve endings and neuropathy is the output. At the same time the damage can also result in peripheral artery disease in which the small arteries and capillaries near the feet start shrinking and closing up.
When neuropathy makes blisters, cuts, and other wounds happen and circulation in the feet makes healing these wounds problematic, foot ulcers which do not easily heal can form. Ideally you want to take steps to get back into a normal blood sugar range but int he mean time you have to deal with your feet while glucose levels remain high.
To get rid of these foot ulcers many people and doctors will advise antibiotics, topical creams, cleaning, etc. but the long term fix is to increase circulation in the feet so that blood flow can bring bring oxygen and white blood cells to the area more effectively. In the long run this is hard because it takes time to improve circulation but while you look to treat diabetic foot ulcers you should also be taking all the steps necessary to prevent them from forming in the first place.
How To Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Preventing diabetic foot ulcerations is a long term program. You can’t just do one thing and be done. It is a change in lifestyle that requires a significant commitment with follow through every day. Basically because neuropathy makes it easy for you to injure your feet you need to do two things to make sure your protect your feet from injury. You need to always wear the right shoes for diabetics. If you work outside that means finding a good pair of diabetic boots, if you are at the office you need quality diabetic work shoes, and lounging at home requires a good pair of diabetic slippers.
You have to wear these shoes all the time because they help with protecting your foot but also because they help with the circulation in your feet. Diabetic shoes are not binding and they leave plenty of room in your feet so that your blood can circulate freely.
Also, you have to check your feet often for injuries. You cannot rely on waiting to feel irritation in your feet before you inspect them. Neuropathy in the feet means you can easily injure your feet without even realizing it. Stop periodically throughout the day to take your shoes off, clean the inside of them out, and inspect your feet for small cuts, bruises, or blisters that may be forming. If anything is forming then you need to take action right away to alleviate the irritation and clean the wound.
Lastly the best way to prevent these foot ulcers from forming is to do everything you can to promote healthy circulation of the feet. You need to wear good diabetic athletic shoes and go exercising frequently. Try diabetic foot massage to see if you can help stimulate better blood flow, and very importantly stay away from elastic band socks which can restrict blood flow to the feet. Raise your feet periodically to help the blood to flow. Each of these steps is a small drop in the bucket but by doing them all and emphasizing exercise you can slowly improve circulation and help prevent diabetic foot ulcers from forming.