There are many reasons to protect your health when you have diabetes. This condition, which impacts more than 8% of adults over the age of 18 worldwide, affects the entire body and requires ongoing care and attention.
There are several types of diabetes, all of which involve complications with the glucose (blood sugar) found in the body. Many people get diabetes caused by their genetics. Some people get diabetes from environmental factors or poor lifestyle choices like inactivity, excess fatty tissue, and an unhealthy diet.
If left untreated, elevated glucose levels in the bloodstream can cause long-term damage to the eyes, feet, kidneys, nerves, and complications that include everything from heart disease to strokes.
Today, we’ll learn about how diabetes affects our feet in particular and how diabetic foot care can prevent long-term damage.
How Diabetes Affects Our Feet
If you poorly managed your diabetes, you put your whole body’s health, especially your feet, in grave danger.
People with diabetes often have poor circulation, which begins in the extremities. This poor circulation weakens the body’s capacity to heal itself, so even small issues like ulcers, blisters, or dry, cracked heels can quickly get infected.
What is Peripheral Neuropathy?
Another common side effect of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy, which occurs when the nerves outside our brain and spinal cord are diseased or damaged. This condition’s symptoms include numbness, prickling, tingling, or pain in the feet and hands, which may gradually spread up the legs and arms. If symptoms progress, you may begin to feel extremely sensitive to touch or pressure.
More than half of people with diabetes will eventually develop some neuropathy, so it’s essential to check with your doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Feet
If you notice any tingling, numbness, or unexplained pain in your feet, consult a doctor right away. There are steps you can take to get relief from pain and mitigate complications and risk factors.
If left untreated, peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation can lead to infection.
Tips for Better Diabetic Foot Care
Protecting your feet from diabetes doesn’t have to be complicated. You can take many small actions daily to safeguard your feet and protect your health and mobility long-term.
Check your feet for injuries
Due to poor circulation and the painful and irritating peripheral neuropathy sensations, it’s easy for small foot issues like corns or blisters to go unnoticed. The longer these issues remain untreated, the more likely it is that they’ll become infected.
To avoid this, regularly check your feet for visible injuries, as well as changes to their appearance. If you notice a difference, speak to your doctor right away.
Wearing diabetic socks are a specific type of footwear to help be gentle on your feet. Typically, they’re made without seams and use a material that wicks away moisture so that it can stop the growth of infection-causing bacteria.
Like diabetic socks, people with diabetes can wear shoes to ensure comfort and safety for their feet. While the sole provides stable support, the upper portion of the shoe can include a soft, seam-free material that doesn’t irritate the feet.
If you’re affected by neuropathy, a pedorthist can help fit you for the right pair of shoes or recommend insoles for diabetic foot pain to make your existing shoes more comfortable.
While there are diabetic foot inserts out there, the best way to ensure your feet remain comfortable is to invest in a customized orthotic device.
Many different types of diabetic orthotics are available, designed to keep pressure evenly distributed on sensitive feet.
Find the Best Diabetic Orthotics at Orthotics Direct
People searching for great diabetic orthotics often find that their choices are both limited and expensive when shopping from brick and mortar retailers.
Fortunately, Orthotics Direct has made it easier than ever to shop for customized orthotics designed with sensitive feet in mind.
We design our Wellness Orthotics with maximum cushioning to provide pain relief for sensitive diabetic feet.
Our easy process makes it quick and painless to submit a detailed foam or digital foot mould of your foot. Once we have your foam or digital mould, you can receive your customized orthotics within two weeks!