Taking care of your feet should be paramount with anyone that has diabetes to prevent having “diabetes feet” and should be incorporated into inspecting your feet daily as part of your diabetes treatment plan. Any signs of deterioration should be reported to your doctor.
Simple things to look for in diabetes feet:
• Visually check your toes and feet take special notice of between your toes and don’t forget to inspect the soles as well. Look for change of color around toenails, cuts or abrasions and foot ulcers that look to be not healing.
• A safety measure is to feel bath water with your hand and not just step into the water.
• Give your shoes a shake upside ensuring that there are no stones or any other hard objects in them.
• Never get around without shoes on.
• Get fitted for any shoes that you buy, your feet change all the time and getting ill-fitting shoes that rub may cause you feet problems.
• The choice of socks should always be made of natural fibers such as cotton or wool or a mix of the 2 the reason for this is to allow better circulation. Check that the stockings or socks are never too tight.
• Have you toenails cut professionally at the Podiatrist.
• If you smoke, stop now as this causes narrowing of the arteries and this would put you in line for any amputations.
If your diabetes feet are feeling dry it may be because you have lost the ability to sweat and if this is the case it usually goes hand in hand by loss of touch sensation, which could lead to ulceration of your feet. So a feet treatment could be in order. Remember to moisturize your feet thoroughly this is a great form of feet treatment that is also easy to remember.
There are approximately up to 3,000 non-traumatic amputations that occur every year with nearly 50% of these procedures are performed on diabetics regardless of excellent surgery that can now circulate more blood to the diabetic feet the number of amputations are rising steadily. Sometimes monofilaments diabetes care can help to save a foot from amputation.
Doctor’s can perform a simple light touch test that involves large fibers, which can sense anything that touches our skin. For example the test takes minutes to perform and it involves using a monofilament that is the thickness of a hair. The thickness of the filament looks at the amount of force that is needed to bend the filament so it is felt by the patient. If the monofilament bends a person with normal feet can feel 1 gram of force. If the person can feel a monofilament that bends with 10 grams of force, it is unlikely that this person would suffer damage to the diabetes feet without feeling it.
This 10-gram filament test can be used by your medical advisor to inform him whether you are at high risk for damage to your feet as you are unaware of the pain. The test only takes minutes the results would then have you be more alert to checking your feet and looking at all of the precautions outlined above in dot point.
Keep the skin on your feet moist by soaking for a few minutes. You will need to get into the habit of feeling the water first rather than just stepping into it. After the soak dry your feet taking particular care to dry between the toes. This helps to prevent diabetic neuropathy feet even more.
Be aware foot ulcers in diabetes feet that can develop by:
• Ongoing pressure
• Repeated medium pressure
Quick action is needed if you develop an ulcer, immediately take the pressure of the site by resting or elevating the foot, then talk to your doctor about neuropathy feet treatment which may be needed only as a precaution at this point. If it isn’t needed at least it will ease your mind knowing you can rest easy.
Ulcers on the feet are totally preventable it is through ulcers that go untreated or unnoticed that can lead to amputation with people who have diabetes. It is good to educate yourself about neuropathy diabetic symptoms.
Lastly, a word of caution: remember if you experience loss of sensation in your feet the earlier this is picked up by your doctor the sooner immediate action can be taken to prevent diabetes feet.