Complications of Diabetes may affect feet, eyes, kidneys and nerves etc.
Diabetes is a serious medical condition where the body fails to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood which can be either due to inadequate insulin production or inability of the body cells to respond to insulin, or both. Prolonged uncontrolled levels of blood sugar lead to short term and long term complications. Development of complications may have a significant impact on quality of life and may even decrease the expectancy of life.
As a complication, diabetes may decrease blood flow to the feet leading to lack of oxygen and nutrients to the feet which in turn, makes the sores, blisters and cuts difficult to heal. One of the complications of diabetes is peripheral neuropathy which causes numbness and loss of sensation in the feet which makes it difficult to notice and treat cuts, sores, blisters and infections. Failure in treating and noticing these ulcers and sores may lead to deeper infection eventually causing amputation. Hence, to avoid further complications of feet due to diabetes it is crucial to take good care of your feet.
Below mentioned are certain tips, which can guide you in taking adequate care of your feet
1 :: Fix a time daily to check both the feet carefully for cuts, swelling, blisters and red spots. Ensure to check between all the toes. In case you are unable to see the bottom of your feet then you can either use a mirror or ask someone else for help.
2 :: If you notice any changes in sensation in your legs, feet or toes or changes in foot color or shape, inform your physician immediately. Visit your physician if you have any blisters or cuts or ingrown toe nails.
3 :: Maintain foot hygiene by keeping them clean and free from infection. Keep the skin of your feet soft by applying a thin coat of skin lotion over your feet but do not apply the lotion in between the toes. Moisturizing the feet will prevent development of fissures, which may serve as a breeding ground for infection. Talcum powder or cornstarch can be applied in between the toes to keep them dry and to prevent infection.
4 :: Wash your feet with warm and not too hot water. Avoid soaking your feet for long duration in water as waterlogged sores take longer to heal. Immediately dry your feet and remember to dry between the toes.
5 :: Avoid using heating pads, hot water bottles or electric blankets. There are chances that you may burn your feet without realizing.
6 :: If you have growth of corns or calluses on your feet then use a pumice stone to gently smoothen them. Do not cut them. Avoid using corn plasters, razor blades or callus removers; they may cause damage and infection to the skin.
7 :: Regularly cut or trim your toenails. Avoid cutting your toe nails very short.
8 :: Wear well-fitting shoes as ill-fitting shoes may cause ulcers, calluses, corns and nail complaints.
9 :: To prevent cuts, avoid walking barefoot, particularly in the garden or on in the beach. Always wear socks with your shoes as plastic and leather materials can irritate your skin causing blisters. Socks help in offering an additional layer of protection between the feet and shoe.
10 :: Avoid wearing tight socks, rubber or elastic bands around the legs.
11 :: Avoid sitting crossed legs for prolonged hours in order to prevent constriction of blood circulation.
12 :: Smoking hampers the blood circulation in people suffering from diabetes and can worsen leg and foot problems hence, smoking should be stopped.
13 :: Be active as it enhances the blood flow to the feet. Perform exercises such as cycling, swimming or yoga, which have least impact on your feet.
14 :: In case you have diabetic nerve pain or your muscles have weakened due to nerve damage then you can use shoe inserts known as orthotics to offer support to your feet.
15 :: Avoid the use of antiseptic solutions on your feet without consulting your physician as they may burn your skin.
16 :: Best prevention for diabetic neuropathy is to control blood sugar efficiently.
If you suffer from diabetes, it is mandatory that you do follow all the above mentioned steps to prevent further complications of diabetes.