I used to love wearing heels all the time, and then I started getting terrible foot pain all the time. I visited my podiatrist, and she showed me how much damage I was doing to my feet. She showed me how much better my feet would be able to react if I wore shoes with proper arch support and convinced me to try some sensible shoes. It made such a difference. My boyfriend says I'm a whole new person - a new person who doesn't complain about her aching feet all day long. Now I proudly wear sensible shoes and enjoy my life!
Every day, over 280 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes, and sadly, many cases of type II diabetes go undiagnosed. Whether diagnosed or not, many diabetic individuals have issues with their feet. If you have diabetes or believe you are at risk for it, you need to protect your feet.
Here are six tips to guide you toward healthy, functional, pain-free feet:
1. Eat a healthy diet
If you have type II diabetes, the most effective way to control the symptoms is through diet. Ideally, you want to work with your doctor to create a diet low in simple carbs, trans fats and cholesterol but high in complex carbs, fiber-rich foods, low-fat fish and meat and "good" fats from sources such as avocados and nuts. In addition to eating right, avoid habits such as smoking cigarettes. In addition to its link with lung cancer, heart disease and other issues, smoking can slow your circulation.
2. Boost circulation to your feet with exercise
Unfortunately, whether you smoke or not, if you have diabetes, your circulation is likely to slow down. If you have cold hands or feet, dry skin, wounds that heal very slowly or pale blue coloured skin, those are all signs your circulation is waning. Luckily, you can invigorate your circulation by exercising. Even starting small with simply lifting your feet, rolling your ankles and stretching your toes can help get your blood moving.
If you are unsure of whether or not your circulation is performing up to par, schedule a trip to the podiatrist. These medical feet experts can compare blood flow from different parts of your body to see how your feet are faring. If possible, look for a podiatrist who specialises in the foot issues experienced by diabetics.
3. Moisturise and examine your feet daily
If you are experiencing poor circulation to your feet, their skin is likely to be dry and possibly cracked. For that reason, you should moisturise your feet every day. During that part of your daily routine, use a mirror to thoroughly examine both of your feet. Look for cracked skin, sores, corns and any other issues.
4. Avoid over-the-counter corn remedies
If you find a corn during your daily foot examination, do not run to the shops and buy corn removal pads. The caustic nature of most over-the-counter remedies can chemically burn healthy skin, causing ulcers or other issues. This threat is stronger for people with diabetes, who already have compromised feet health. Instead of using an over-the-counter remedy, visit a podiatrist for a treatment more suitable for someone with diabetes.
5. Be aware of the potential for neuropathy
One of the reasons people with diabetes tend to develop corns is because they may not be able to feel their feet. Corns are formed when the skin of your foot rubs repeatedly on something uncomfortable such as the side of your shoe. If you can't feel your feet very well, you may develop a corn before you even notice what is happening.
This lack of sensation is due to a condition called neuropathy. Unfortunately, neuropathy affects many people with diabetes, and this condition renders the nerves in your feet basically useless. This can make it impossible to "feel" what you are doing, and even something as simple as cutting one's toenails can result in injury.
6. Find help for your feet maintenance
If you develop neuropathy in your feet as a result of your diabetes, you may need a professional to help you. A podiatrist like Essendon Foot Clinic is critical for treating issues as they arise, but you should also have a home health care worker help you with basic maintenance such as washing, moisturising, checking for issues and cutting your nails.Share