Diabetes is a serious disease that is caused from lack of insulin production in the body or inability of the body’s insulin to perform its normal functions. It affects approximately 16 million Americans, of which 25 percent will develop foot problems related to the disease.
Diabetic foot conditions develop due to a combination of causes. Neuropathy and poor circulation are two of the consequences. Neuropathy is loss of feeling and insensitivity to pain, heat and cold. A minor cut or bruise if left untreated may lead to ulceration or even amputation. It is important that a diabetic person looks after his feet and checks them out everyday.
Footwear is of prime importance. Diabetic footwear should provide the following protective benefits.
- A high and wide toe box in the toe area.
- Insoles that are removable.
- Rocker soles which help to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot prone to pain like the ball-of-the-foot.
- Firm heel counters for stability and support.
The following tips should be observed by a diabetic.
- Make healthy choices by keeping your blood sugar levels normal.
- Check your feet everyday for cuts, sores, swelling or infected toenails.
- Wash your feet everyday in warm water.
- Keep the skin soft by applying a thin coat of cream on top and the bottom of the foot.
- Wear shoes and socks and do not walk barefooted indoors. Keep your feet dry. Wear shoes that fit well and protect the feet.
- Make sure about blood-flow in the feet. Wiggle your toes for 5 minutes everyday. Move your ankles in and out and up and down to improve circulation.
- Be active. Walking, swimming and dancing are good. Avoid activities that are hard on the feet.
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