Thursday, 23 August 2018

5 Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

For diabetics, the foot often becomes one of the most problematic areas of their body. The extremities can get deprived of adequate blood flow because of diabetes, leading to deprivation of oxygen and nutrients. Apart from problems like blisters taking more time to heal, and numbness in the feet, the area may also become more prone to infections. All these make it more important for diabetics to take good care of their feet to avoid serious complications. Here are some essential diabetes foot care tips to keep your feet healthy.

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      1.       Manage your diabetes well

      There is a direct relationship between diabetes and damage to your nerve cells. The better you manage your diabetes, the healthier your feet will be for a prolonged time. If you have a foot infection, uncontrolled diabetes can make it difficult for the body to fight it. So, it is important that you work with your doctor to manage diabetes and keep your blood sugar level within range.

      2.       Stay active

      Staying active can help your feet to function properly and feel stretched. While exercise for diabetics certainly isn’t one-size-fits-all, low impact fitness programs that include walking, swimming, yoga etc can prove to be helpful as they don’t put excessive pressure on the feet. However, it’s crucial to ensure you have proper footwear for whatever activity you prefer to get started with. If you choose the wrong footwear that offer inadequate support to your feet, you may end up hurting your feet, which could create complications due to your pre-existing diabetes.

      3.       Check your feet daily and keep them clean

      Carefully observe your feet everyday to identify blisters, cuts, swelling, soreness and red spots. It’s good to have a mirror to thoroughly check the bottom of your feet. If you have difficulty seeing, ask a family member to do it.It’s also important to wash your feet everyday properly. Remember to use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Drying your feet after washing should be done the right way since the space between your toes is heavily airtight, and leaving the region moist may lead to infections. Towel off thoroughly to prevent this from happening.

     4.       Trim toenails carefully

      Trim your toenails every week or as and when needed. Trim them straight across without cutting too short. File the edges with a nail file or an emery board. Remember to avoid knife or conventional scissors, and don’t bite, pull or tear the toenails. Have them trimmed by a professional if you find it difficult to see or reach them.

    5.       Protect your toes from cold/hot temperature 

      Always wear shoes when walking on a hot pavement or at the beach. Avoid putting your feet into hot water. People with diabetes often develop neuropathy, which makes it difficult to feel the right temperature of hot water that may lead to scalding of the skin. You can use the elbow to check the water temperature instead. Also, if your feet get cold at night, wear socks.

Even seemingly harmless feet hazards may turn into serious conditions if you ignore them,    especially when you have diabetes. Ideally, you should consider consulting a podiatrist when developing your diabetes healthcare routine instead of heading straight to the pharmacy for over-the-counter products for taking care of your feet.

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