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Taking Care of Your Feet

Apr 15, 2008
About 20% of the people diagnosed with diabetes are hospitalized because of issues concerning their feet. The foot of a diabetic can cause a number of possible critical conditions for them to be in. Blood flow problems in the legs, like atherosclerosis, can put the foot in peril for injury and infections.

It would be difficult for a diabetic to feel with his foot if he has neuropathy, which causes nerve damage. If not treated accordingly, it will lead to other complications which will cause infection and skin breakdown.

By looking at the feet closely every day, a diabetic can avoid many potential problems. Changes in color, loss of sensation, tingling or burning sensations, pain, and changes in the temperature of the foot should be reported to the physician immediately. If there is an injury to the foot, or an open wound, monitor the healing time. If it appears to be taking longer than usual to heal, report this to the physician as well.

Check if the foot becomes dry, cracked, and starts to peel. It may present to us another issue. These are signs that there's a problem with the nerves that are responsible for the foot to produce moisture. Cracks and peels pave the way for bacteria and to get in and cause more problems. One can use petroleum based lotions or salves to add moisture to the foot to prevent cracks. Do not put lotion between the toes, though, because too much of this may lead to infection.

You can soften calluses, if observed, with the help of a pumice stone. If this would not work, alert a doctor because once it hardens and becomes thick, it would lead to ulcer.

Wearing shoes that are too tight may cause ulcer or open sores. It grows around the bottom of the big toe, at the ball of the foot, and also on the sides, top or heel of the foot. If the skin turns red, it may lead to skin breakdown, and diabetics should be conscious about this because open sores can start infections that may require leg amputation. In order to avoid ulcers to get worse or have other infections, some diabetics wear a cast to minimize the pressure on the legs.

These instances may be prevented with the following precautions. Be conscious of your sugar level. Get rid of extra weight, which causes added pressure to the foot. Look at your foot daily or ask someone to do it for you. Smooth socks should be use and do not bunch up when you wear them. Double check your shoes for foreign objects before wearing them. However small it may be, you'll never know how big the effect can be. Never walk barefooted. There's a greater chance that you would step on something that would cause an open wound. Do not automatically get in a hot tub for your batch. Check the temperature first with your hand. If you are already having problems with the nerves on your foot, you wouldn't know if it's too hot for you. Do not use heating pads on the feet. Dry your feet well after a bath. Give extra attention between your toes. Stop smoking. You are increasing the risk of nerve damage and slower healing because smoking causes poor blood flow.

A diabetic with poor senses in the foot should let a podiatrist trim toenails, trim calluses, and remove corns, to eliminate the risk of infection.

Diabetics should keenly observe their feet for any sign of irregularity to prevent hospitalization for foot related issues and even the amputation of the lower limb.
About the Author
Julia Hanf author of the book How To Play the Diabetes Diet Game and Win Through a real life crisis Julia figured out how to live diabetes free. Visit http://www.yourdiabetescure.com and learn more about your solution for diabetes.
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