Simple steps that help prevent serious foot problems in diabetics. This article will help avoid diabetes related problems such as amputation of toes and feet.
Proper foot care is especially critical for diabetics because they are prone to foot problems such as:
- Loss of feeling in their feet
- Changes in the shape of their feet
- Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal.
Diabetic Neuropathy and Poor Circulation in Diabetes
Diabetic Neuropathy - Of the 30% of world Population with diabetes, 75% will develop foot problems related to the disease at some stage.
Diabetic foot conditions develop from a combination of causes including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics suffering from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet.
It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot related injuries. Due to the consequences of neuropathy, daily observation of the feet is critical. When a diabetic patient takes the necessary preventative foot care measures, he or she reduces the risks of serious foot conditions.
Poor Circulation: Diabetes often leads to peripheral vascular disease that inhibits a person’s blood circulation. With this condition, there is a narrowing of the arteries that frequently leads to significantly decreased circulation in the lower part of the legs and the feet. Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, causing injuries to heal poorly. Poor circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot. Preventing foot complications is more critical for the diabetic patient because poor circulation impairs the healing process and can lead to ulcers, infection, and other serious foot conditions.
Diabetes has been one of the most rapidly progressing problem that approximately is likely to affect almost 20 to 30% of the world Population and is classified into 2 different types: 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 characterized by elevated blood sugars, often in people who are overweight or have not attended to their diet properly.
Many complications can be associated with diabetes. Diabetes besides involving the feet can also affect many areas of the body such as the eyes and kidneys. People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet.
Treatment and Prevention
Footwear and orthotics play an important role in diabetic footcare. Orthotics designed with Plastazote foam, the number one material for protecting the insensitive diabetic foot, are usually recommended. Plastazote is a material designed to accommodate pressure hot spots by conforming to heat and pressure.
By customizing to the foot, Plastazote provides the comfort and protection needed in diabetic footcare. Footwear constructed with Plastazote is also recommended frequently for the diabetic patient.
§ Plastazote is a material that can easily be heat moulded and adheres easily to most materials. It has good strength and at the same time is lightweight.
§ Plastazote has good thermal properties; it is non-allergenic and can be used in direct contact with the skin.
§ Plastazote foam is available most colors, is readily washable, discourages bacteria growth and has good thermal properties.
All the above properties has established plastazote as a standard material that is used for any customized foot wear or any other prosthesis to make a correction. The science itself is called ‘Orthotics’ and is derived from the Greek "ortho", to straighten and indicates connection of the field to orthopedics.
If you are a diabetic, you should be particularly alert to any problems you may be having with your feet. It is very important for diabetics with neuropathy to take necessary precautions to prevent injury and keep their feet healthy. If you have diabetes and are experiencing a foot problem, immediately consult your foot doctor.
Types of Footwear for Diabetics
Depending on the problem the footwear can be customized to a patient’s requirement. If you are a diabetic and suffering from pressure sores on your feet or if you have been diagnosed to have diabetic neuropathy or your sensation is diminished you must try and wear specially designed footwear.
Diabetic footwear should also provide the following protective benefits
- High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
- Rocker Soles designed to reduce pressure in the areas of the foot most susceptible to pain, most notably the ball-of-the-foot.
- Firm Heel Counters for support and stability.