How to Prevent Diabetes-Related Foot Problems
Diabetic foot problems are among the most serious and costly complications of diabetes and result in over one million amputations per year, say the worldwide statistics.
“Diabetes causes nerve damage and reduced circulation that can be hazardous to your feet. If you have sensory loss in your feet even if your feet develop callus or painful corn, any cut or injury, you will not even realise until it turns into ulcer, gangrene. With poor blood supply and continuing load bearing activities, it’s practically impossible to heal the wound under the foot. Hence,diabetic population needs to keep their feet in a safe and secure environment at all times,” says Chaitanya Shah, mobility consultant and Founder of Orthofit.
According to the World Health Organisation almost 27% of the diabetic population develop periphery neuropathy (poor blood supply at the end nerves) and more than 50% of those develop foot ulcer, gangrene, amputation which is the most common cause for hospitalization. It is expensive to treat and can lead to amputation.
Steps to Healthy Feet
- Wash your feet in lukewarm water every day.
- Look at your feet every day to check for cuts, sores, blisters, redness, calluses or other problems. If you cannot, ask someone in the family to examine your feet every day.
- Moisturize your feet after you wash and dry them- at least twice daily.
- Cut your toenails once a week or when needed.
- Always wear socks or stockings to avoid blisters.
- Always wear slippers or shoes to protect your feet from injuries. Never ever walk barefoot.
- Wear shoes that fit well as per your feet size by length and width.
- Before putting your shoes on, feel the insides to make sure they have no sharp edges or objects that might injure your feet.
- Shoes should be properly measured (by length and width) to be comfortable and easy to put on and allow your toes to move freely at the time of purchase.
- Maintain your blood sugar levels through diet, exercise and medication. Quit smoking and exercise regularly.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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