When we hear about someone with diabetes in this day and age, we don’t think it’s such a big deal. There are plenty of ways to treat the metabolic disorder, notably by way of a computer powered pump that reads your blood levels and knows when the system needs more insulin. The days of diabetics needing to inject themselves with insulin on the regular are over, and for this, we can be grateful. In the past, diabetes was a very difficult disease to treat and almost always lead to severe complications and death, it is a testament to modern medical technology that we’ve come so far.
One thing that people don’t often make the connection between is diabetes and foot health. While it may seem strange that a metabolic disorder would affect one’s feet, it actually makes perfect sense: the disease can cause nerve damage in your feet and lower legs, which means that when you get a minor cut or sore on your feet your pain receptors may not pass this information along to your brain. In our society, we mostly see pain as a negative thing that should be avoided at all costs, but in reality, pain is an elegant part of our nervous system that is invaluable in certain situations. At Feet First Clinic in Bloor West Village, we see a lot of patients with diabetes who have experienced severe infections and swelling due to cuts that went unnoticed for too long.
In this post, we’ll explore methods for preventing this kind of situation, and also discuss what you can do if it becomes a more serious problem:
Make Foot Care a Priority
The best thing you can do is to make foot care a priority and take it seriously. This means putting together a kit of equipment such as toenail trimmers, nail file, and a hand mirror for better visibility on the bottom of the foot. Checking your feet for cracks, cuts and sores is the best way to head off problems at the pass. Our diabetic foot care services include a course of education so that you can become your own foot care specialist and take control of your own health.
If you do experience severe swelling because of an infection, you should definitely invest in a pair of compression stockings. Compression stockings need to be custom fitted to provide the precise amount of pressure to stimulate blood-flow, without actually inhibiting it. Many people with diabetes are complete converts to compression stockings and wear them all year round to promote strong blood-flow in the lower legs. Compression stockings last about six months before they need to be replaced.
Custom Orthotics for the Win
If your shoes are too tight it is going to create problems, period. Many people with diabetes praise the benefits of custom orthotics and quality shoes with lots of room (wide, high toe box) so that the foot can breathe and blood can flow freely. If you buy shoes that are too big just for the extra space, it’s no good: your feet will slide around and cause lots of problems for your feet, back and knees. Finding the right shoes and having the right orthotics are crucial to promoting good foot health, and if you have diabetes, promoting good foot health is essential.