Foot Health Diabetes
Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection.
Diabetes and Footwear
Diabetes can affect the foot fairly significantly.
Typically, what you’ll see in a foot with diabetes, whether it’s type 1 or type 2 , is that there will be decreased circulation and decreased sensation. So the lack of circulation really affects healing time so proper footcare is really important by someone who’s trained in treating a diabetic foot.
In terms of sensation changes in the foot you will have decreased sensation typically with diabetes, and it gets worse the longer you have the disease. It’s really important with decreased sensation to work with someone who can fit shoes properly and who can fit insoles properly, if that’s needed, a specialist in those areas.
In terms of the shoe you want to make sure there’s no seams on the inside of the shoe to irritate the top of the foot, and in terms of the insole you want to make sure that it’s distributing the pressure across the bottom of the foot.
If there are any bony prominences there that are going to be prone to breakdown, that you have a little bit of an accommodation in the area of the prominence, just to even the pressure out through the bottom of the foot.
Local Practitioners: Pedorthist
Diabetes Foot Care Products
With circulation, and decrease of circulation specifically with diabetes, comes many problems, including nerve damage and peripheral vascular problems at the bottom of the feet and fingertips.
A lot of diabetics, if the damage gets severe enough, can’t actually feel the bottom of their feet, and if they happen to step on something that could hurt them, they might not actually feel it. And the damage could be done without them even knowing it.
What we usually try to tell people is if you are diabetic, you should be checking your feet every day on a regular basis as a routine, just to help maintain and prevent any sort of damage that could be done.
Some of the things that you can do, of course, if using a specially-designed diabetic sock. In this case, it’s designed with reinforced toes and no seams and extra padding to help prevent pressure sores that might develop in your shoe.
Hydration is also a very important part of diabetic foot care. We always make sure that we have enough care with the feet, otherwise we get cracking of the soles and the heels, most importantly, and they don’t heal quite as well if you’re diabetic.
If someone comes in with a diabetic sore, we always make sure that we refer to a specialist because their wounds heal quite a bit slower because of the circulation problems that can arise from diabetes.
If you do have more questions about your foot care, especially if you’re diabetic, you can, of course, see your pharmacist because there is a lot of knowledge and information available to you and products that can help you maintain and prevent further problems with your feet or any other related symptom associated with diabetes.
If you have further questions, you can always ask your diabetic educator, a foot care nurse or a podiatrist.
Presenter: Mr. Eugene Mar, Pharmacist, Vancouver, BC
Local Practitioners: Pharmacist