Love Your Feet When You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, make sure you pay extra attention to your feet
If you have diabetes, make sure you pay extra attention to your feet. That’s because imbalances in blood sugar levels weaken your feet, and, if neglected, ultimately destroy your feet.
Often, your feet will be among the first indicators that something’s not right with your blood sugar. Burning sensations in your soles; pins and needles-like tingling; numbness or the feeling like you are “walking on cotton”; thickening and cracking of the soles – these are all red flags that something’s amiss, and it’s time to visit your doctor.
Feet are on the frontlines of a diabetes attack
Numbness and tingling indicate diabetic neuropathy – nerve damage resulting from constant exposure to elevated blood sugar levels. While it can strike any part of the body, it is usually your feet that are on the frontline.
Neglect can lead to complications such as:
Chronic foot pain that makes even wearing a pair of slippers painfully unbearable.
Loss of balance that can leave you accident prone.
Unusually dry skin on the feet causes cracks in the soles.
Inadequate blood flow to the feet causes wounds and ulcers to form that are slow to heal.
The loss of sensitivity in the feet can also increase the incidence of accidents and injury.
Over time, chronic wounds that refuse to heal may suffer gangrene, leading to amputation.
Skin can get discoloured and feet can get deformed.
Diabetic neuropathy is all pervasive
Diabetic neuropathy also affects other parts of the body such as the heart, the digestive system, the brain and the reproductive organs. Symptoms include giddiness, poor digestion and stomach bloating and alternating diarrhea and constipation, rapid, uncontrolled heart rates and erectile dysfunction.
Can diabetic neuropathy be cured?
Despite all efforts, diabetic neuropathy remains one of the most difficult complications to control and treat. The first and most important step is to bring your blood sugar levels back to as close to normal levels as possible. Take medication to reduce the pain and burning sensations, maintain excellent footcare and hygiene, and wear appropriate footwear.
If you think you have diabetic neuropathy -- if the skin on your soles is thickening, forming cracks and calluses -- consult your doctor and test your feet for neuropathy.
You can have your feet checked at our diabetic footcare clinic. Talk to our nurses and doctors about getting special diabetes footwear like socks and shoes, available at our shop. These are designed to promote blood circulation and prevent constriction.
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