People with Diabetes genuinely have a rough go at life. If it seems as though there aren’t any systems in the body unaffected by Diabetes, it’s because there really aren’t!
One of the more problematic areas where Diabetics have issues is with their feet. Because Diabetes has this nasty tendency of damaging nerve endings and restricting blood flow to extremities, folks with T1D are less likely to feel it when they injure their feet. This is what is referred to as Diabetic Neuropathy.
Because your feet are rather important for things like, you know, walking, running, standing and kicking (if you’re into the martial arts) there are many things you can do to promote proper foot health. Most of these apply to non-Diabetics as well.
The reality is that Diabetes, regardless of the type, is the leading cause of neuropathic damage in the feet and accounts for almost 80% of all foot amputations that were not the result of a traumatic injury.
According to WebMD (obviously one of my favourite websites), your feet should be inspected daily. You want to check for scrapes, cuts, swelling and unexplained sores or ulcers.
Like everything else, keeping your blood glucose levels under control will go a long way to preventing the nerve damage that can lead to these issues. Exercise is also an important factor. Remaining sedentary for too long will increase your risk.
As much as it breaks my heart to say it, going barefoot is also a no-no. As much as I enjoy being barefooted, your feet need to be protected from debris and sharp objects, as injuries to the feet will take much longer for Diabetics, which can lead to infection and other complications. You should always wear some footwear while exercising to protect the feet and one should avoid wearing high heels or pointed toes (I guess I’ll throw mine out 😆).
When you check your feet, they should be a normal flesh colour (comparable to the rest of your legs and body), only slightly pink and warm to the touch. You should keep your toe nails trimmed and clean and if you use lotion to help with dry skin, be certain not to apply between the toes.
If you do discover sores or ulcers on your feet, don’t try to pop them. Cover them with a bandage and wear comfortable shoes, allowing them to heal on their own. If ANY injury does not heal within a couple of days, consult your doctor or medical practitioner. There are a number of conditions or injuries on the feet that won’t go away on their own and one needs to recognize when it’s time to seek out medical help.
As usual, I like providing some of the sources where I get my information. In that respect, WebMD’s article can be read here: https://www.webmd/diabetes/caring-feet#1
As usual, even though it’s not a cure, exercise, diet and proper blood glucose levels will go a long way to prevent complications related to proper foot health. ☯