Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Foot pain diabetes and the risks involved

People suffering from diabetes have a high risk of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the feet and legs. Diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system of these patients, thereby making them go numb in the feet. So, such people are unable to feel any sensation in their feet even when they develop sores or infection, leading to a delayed treatment. Many cases even end up with serious gangrene or amputation. That’s why foot care should be an important part of life for a diabetic.

The foot is the part of the body most prone to injuries. As diabetics experience numbness in their extremities, they may have a foot injury and not realize it. Even something as simple as an ingrown toenail could get infected and cause a big problem for a diabetic. Doctors counsel diabetics to take care of their sugar levels to make sure that they do not reach a stage where they advance to neuropathic symptoms. 

Reasons that may cause foot problems in diabetics
There are various reasons why a diabetic could get a foot problem like a foot ulcer or other foot infections. Diabetic neuropathy is one reason where there is damage to the nerves supplying the blood to the feet. Peripheral vascular disease causes decreased blood flow to the feet also resulting in numbness. A person who has been diabetic for ten or more years has more chance of foot problems. Smoking, alcohol and a bad diet could all trigger foot problems in a diabetic. If the diabetic is not managing their blood sugar levels, it could give rise to foot infections. Continuous trauma to the feet in the form of corns and calluses is not good for diabetics. If the diabetic already has a genetic predisposition towards foot problems or has foot bones that are deformed or suffers from bunions, they are at a risk for foot ulcers and infections. Thick or ingrown toenails can cause foot infections. 

How to take care of your feet if you are diabetic 

A wound takes a long time to heal in a diabetic. So a diabetic should take extra care when walking or running. Wearing shoes or covered footwear can lessen the chances of getting injured. But it also opens a Pandora’s box of other problems. Enclosed footwear is a breeding place for bacteria and so if you wear covered footwear all the time you could get an infection. The best thing to do is to find the right balance between both. Wear covered footwear to protect your feet, but take them off and air your feet every now and then. There is also anti fungal powder that is available and can be used to powder your feet at regular intervals. This prevents foot odor too. 

There are various products available for diabetics to keep foot problems at bay as well to help deal with them. There are topical creams that help ease foot pain and tablets that relieve symptoms of diabetic neuropathy like tingling, burning and numbness. It is very important for a diabetic to insulate their feet against cold weather as this aggravates foot problems. Very well made diabetic foot socks are available to combat the cold. You can get foot lotions, creams and sanitizers that will go a long way in keeping your feet free from infections. 

A regular check up with a podiatrist is necessary if you suffer from diabetes. As they say, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. By taking a few simple but important measures you can lessen the risks caused by diabetes.

No comments:

Post a Comment