Diabetes is a chronic disease which may cause many subsequent illnesses and effects in the different organs in the body, such as the gums, teeth, eyes, kidneys and the heart, including the arteries and neural system. Diabetic patients are very prone to suffer from Atherosclerosis. This produces a lack of feeling in the feet. Walking becomes painful and all these symptoms increase the risk of slipping and falling. Never soak your feet in hot water and never sit for long periods with the legs crossed. Get a medical check for your feet at least once a year.
Why do these patients get wounds on their feet so easily? The reasons include the fact that the nerves supplying the feet are unhealthy, the skin also becomes itchy and dry, making the feet more liable to infections. Again, because of the lack of sensitivity, the patients are probably unaware and may not be careful with their feet, so they can have minor injuries and not even know they have done it! They only realize it when the wound becomes severely infected and becomes progressively ulcerated, which is very difficult to cure. This may even lead to amputation of the limb, as the ulcers progress. For patients who have been suffering from Diabetes for more than 25 years, the chance of ending up with an amputation is 11 percent!
Tips for diabetics for keeping the feet healthy
Wash your feet even after taking a bath. Never use a thick hard brush on your feet .
- Dry your feet (especially between your toes) with a clean smooth towel
- Be careful to check thoroughly to see if there are any wounds, cracks, sore, bruised skin, or a skin color change, (some areas can only be checked by using a mirror) including the skin between the toes and around the nails. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor if there is any change.
- Always wear shoes or slippers, even when you are at home, to prevent getting wounds or scratches, as they can lead to diabetic ulcers.
- If your eyesight is not too good, take particular care when cutting your toenails. And be prepared to ask somebody to help you.
- Always use skin lotion to prevent the skin from dryness, but do not use the lotion between the toes.
As the skin on the feet of people with diabetes is not sensitive, the patients need to take extra care of their feet. Just by following the rules above, the feet will remain much more healthy.