Diabetes is a condition where the body’s blood sugar levels are abnormally high. This is often a lifelong condition. The amount of sugar in a person’s blood is controlled by insulin created by the pancreas. The blood sugar will rise if:
1. The pancreas creates little or no insulin (Type 1)
2. The pancreas creates insulin but it is inadequate and therefore ineffective to the body’s requirements
How does Diabetes affect your feet?
Feet are one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, yet most people tend to neglect them. For the majority, this is not too serious but for the diabetic it can have dire consequences.
People with diabetes have reduced blood circulation to their feet and those who have had diabetes for a long time may have damage to the nerve and blood supply of their feet. Poor circulation also often accompanies age. The symptoms of nerve damage include numbness, (medically referred to as peripheral neuropathy) loss of feeling, tingling, burning sensations or pain. Those of impaired blood supply include pain at rest, especially at night; pain in the calf whilst walking, and feet that feel cold to the touch.
Every year thousands of people have toes, feet and even legs, amputated because of diabetes related foot problems. Most of these could have been prevented by proper foot care.
As well as maintain healthy feet as outlined in our simple guide, diabetics should follow these guidelines:
1. Never walk barefoot as this may lead to cuts and damage to the skin.
2. Never sit cross legged as this will further reduce circulation to your feet
3. Always ensure you wear suitable, well fitted footwear. Shoes which do not fit can cause corns and
callouses and increase your risk of infection.
4. Keep your toenails well maintained, cutting and filing regularly.
5. DO NOT SMOKE! This will further reduce blood circulation.
6. Consult a podiatrist if you notice any breaks, sores, swelling or redness to the skin.
7. ALWAYS seek professional treatment. DO NOT attempt to home treat.