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Diabetes Watch Blog: Putting Your Feet First

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Dec 8, 2005

Putting Your Feet First

Putting Your Feet First
Putting Your Feet First
Think about it! Every 30 seconds a lower limb is amputated somewhere in the world as the direct result of diabetes. This is, according to the data released by the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF). Do you need another reason to keep your feet first?

"Put Feet First: Prevent Amputations", this was the theme of the just diabetic day about a month ago. The point is even after the diabetes day long gone you still have to keep your feet first.

When you put your feet first you will know what are the warning symptoms of decreased blood circulation in the legs, and you will care better for your feet. By putting your feet first you will learn to recognize the problem before a wound or non-healing ulcer develop. This will go a long way in prevention of diabetic gangrene and amputations.

Did you know that foot problems lead to more hospitalizations in diabetics compared to any other diabetic related problems? I didn't know until I started reading about it. Also you might be surprised to know that 70 percent of all amputations, which are not related to trauma, occur due to diabetes.

Putting your feet first involves the following steps:
  • Check your feet every day. Inspect the top, sides, soles, heels, and between the toes.
  • Wash your feet every day with lukewarm water and mild soap. Strong soaps may damage the skin.
  • Test the temperature of the water before putting your feet in, because the normal ability to sense hot temperature is usually impaired in diabetics. Burns can easily occur.
  • Gently and thoroughly dry the feet, particularly between the toes, because infections can develop in moist areas.
  • Because of skin changes linked with diabetes, the feet may become very dry and may crack, possibly causing an infection. After bathing the feet, soften dry skin with lotion, petroleum jelly, lanolin, or oil. Do not put lotion between your toes.
  • Ask your health care provider to show you how to care for your toenails. Soak your feet in lukewarm water to soften the nail before trimming. Cut the nail straight across, since curved nails are more likely to become ingrown.
  • Exercise daily to promote good circulation. Avoid sitting with legs crossed or standing in one position for prolonged periods of time.
  • If you smoke, stop. It decreases blood flow to the feet.
  • Wear shoes at all times to protect your feet from injury. Otherwise, if you have poor vision and less ability to feel pain, you may not notice minor cuts or bumps.
  • Wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes. Never buy shoes that do not fit properly, expecting the shoes to stretch with time. Nerve damage may prevent you from being able to sense pressure from improperly fitting shoes.
  • Check the inside of your shoes for rough areas or torn pieces that can cause irritation.
  • Change your shoes after 5 hours of wearing during the day to alternate pressure points.
  • Avoid wearing thong sandals or stockings with seams that can cause pressure points.
  • Wear clean dry socks or non-binding panty hose every day. Socks may provide an additional layer of protection between the shoe and your foot.
  • Wear socks to bed if your feet are cold. In cold weather, wear warm socks and limit your exposure to the cold to prevent frostbite.
JoAnn      Permalink

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Type-2 Diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, accounting for 90% of cases diabetes. This disease affects nearly 17 million Americans and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Even though 17 million Americans have type-2 diabetes only half of these people are aware that they have diabetes. The death rate in patients with diabetes may be up to 11 times higher than in persons without the disease. The occurrence of diabetes in persons 45 to 64 years of age is 7 percent, but the proportion increases significantly in persons 65 years of age or older. Type-2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all diabetes worldwide.

Diabetes Watch Blog: Putting Your Feet First

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