Diabetes Information from the Foot Experts at Foot Solutions®
It is estimated that 200,000 people in Ireland have Diabetes.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can develop from the lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body’s insulin to perform its normal everyday functions. (Insulin is a substance produced by the pancreatic gland that helps process the food we eat and turn it into energy.)
Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body, such as the eyes, kidneys, legs, and feet. Indeed people with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet.
Causes of Diabetes
There are two types of Diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is usually associated with juvenile diabetes and is often linked to heredity. Type 2, commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes, is characterised by elevated blood sugars, often in people who are overweight or have not attended to their diet properly.
Diabetes Treatment and Prevention
- Inspect and wash your feet daily. Dry carefully, especially examining between the toes
- Use appropriate creams for dry skin. Apply at night, but not between the toes.
- Avoid extreme temperatures. Test the water with your elbow or thermometer before bathing.
- Inspect the insides of your shoes before putting them on. Look out for any foreign objects, nail points, torn linings or any rough areas.
- Wear socks and shoes all the time, even in the house.
- Protect your feet from extreme hot and cold. Wear socks by night if appropriate and keep feet away from radiators, open fires, hot tubs. Use sunscreen on feet to avoid sunburn.
- Buy shoes and other footwear from a trained pedorthist (shoe fitting specialist) to ensure proper fit.
- Wear seamless socks with good padding or well fitted stockings with your shoes to prevent blisters or sores from developing.
- If toe nails are easily trimmed, cut straight across & use an emery board to file corners.
- Increase blood flow to your feet. Wiggle toes & move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, 2-3 times a day.
- See your doctor regularly for overall health and exercise advice. Have them check your foot sensation & general foot health. Call your doctor immediately if you have a cut, sore, blister or bruise that is older than a day.
You should not:
- Smoke. It reduces blood flow to your feet.
- Apply hot water bottles or heating pads to your feet or legs.
- Walk on hot surfaces e.g. sandy beaches in the hot summer or the cement around swimming pools. Do not wear thong sandals; wear shoes instead.
- Walk barefoot or wear shoes without socks, not even indoors.
- Use adhesive tape on your feet.
- Use chemical agents to remove corns, calluses, or warts.
- Use strong antiseptic solutions on the feet.
- Soak your feet or use hot tubs.
- Wear footwear or socks that are restrictive, as these can cut off circulation. Foot wear and socks should be seamfree and fitted correctly. Avoid garters, tight socks or rubber bands
- Use oils or creams between the toes unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Cut your own nails if they are thick or yellow, or cut your corns or calluses. See your doctor/podiatrist instead.
- Cross your legs for long periods of time as this cuts off circulation to the feet.
How We Can Help
Our line of Diabetic Footwear is custom designed to provide the following protective benefits:
- High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
- Removable insoles for flexibility and the option to insert orthotics if necessary.
- Rocker Soles designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball-of-the-foot.