Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disorder in which the body is not able to produce or respond to the hormone insulin. It is characterized by fasting and postprandial hyperglycemia, resulting in increased levels of blood glucose and abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates.
One of the most common complications of Diabetes Mellitus is the wrecking of blood vessels, usually referred to as Diabetes Neuropathy, which affects the feet.
What is Diabetes Neuropathy and how does it affect feet?
Diabetes Neuropathy leads to an evident damaging of the nervous system, leading to loss of sensation, ulceration and subsequent amputation. It majorly affects the nerves in one’s legs and feet.
Diabetes Neuropathy reduces blood flow to the feet, which leads to loss of sensation, and makes it more difficult to heal an injury or resist an infection. It is more common for diabetic patients to not feel foot problems until they have already developed.
Due to loss of sensation, one might not be able to notice a foreign object in the footwear. As a result, there are chances for the patient to develop a sore or a blister. It can further lead to a non-healing wound, putting him/her at a high risk of amputation.
Proper foot care, thus becomes essential for diabetic patients.
How to take care of your feet in Diabetes?
Most foot problems can be prevented by proper foot care routine on a regular basis. Try these self-care diabetes foot care tips to make sure your feet do not attract further complications.
- Examine your feet daily
Check your feet daily, especially toes for any cuts, cracks, blisters, swelling, redness, nail problems, etc. Also look closely for any fungal infection between the toes and back of the heels. Even if you find any minor problem, see your doctor immediately.
2. Cleansing your feet
Wash and cleanse your feet preferably with lukewarm water and a mild soap. Using hot water and heavy chemical-based soaps or body wash liquids can damage your foot skin. Also make sure you dry your feet well, especially between the toes. You may use a mild moisturizer to treat dry skin and cracking.
3. Trim your nails carefully
Take special care while trimming your nails. Cut nails carefully straight across using a nail-cutter and file the edges to smoothen them. Avoid cutting your nails too short, as it could result in their in-growth. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding your nails.
4. Use socks
Socks provide an additional layer of protection to your feet. Hence, always remember to put your socks on. Wear clean, dry, and non-binding socks, which are neither too tight nor too loose. Do wear socks to bed if you got cold feet.
5. Never perform surgeries on your own
Overtime, you may develop foot ulcers like corns, calluses, warts, etc. However, it is advisable not to attempt to remove them on your own. Also, never use razor blades, wart removers, corn plasters etc. to take them out. In such cases, it is better to see a doctor or podiatrist
6. Choose proper footwear
Ill-fitting shoes are the most common cause of foot problems for people with Diabetes. Doctors advise to choose MCR footwear instead of the regular ones. Wear well-fitting shoes that are long, deep, and wide enough for your feet. Also, examine your feet every time while wearing or remove shoes. Check the bottom of your shoes and the outer sole for sharp objects like nails, pins, glass, etc.
In addition to the above foot care tips, also consider getting your feet examined by a doctor once a year. In case you have a history of foot problems, visit your doctor more often for any signs of fatal foot mishaps including infections, bruises, cuts, foot pain etc.