Persons with diabetes are usually cautioned by health professionals to take care of their over-all health by taking the necessary medications and eating specialized diets prescribed by medical doctors and nutritionists. Among the primary concern for diabetes patients is the prevention of wound infection especially to the lower extremities like the leg and foot because these bodily parts are highly susceptible to poor blood circulation and neuropathy - nerve damages due to diabetes. Untreated wounds on legs and feet for diabetics can lead to gangrene, and can result to amputation that further affects the physical as well as psychological make-up of a person with diabetes.
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Gangrene is caused by the death of tissue due to lack of blood circulation to the affected part. When the gangrene become severe and the subsequent infection becomes uncontrollable, medical professionals usually prescribe amputation of the affected part such as a foot or the whole leg. That is why foot amputation is more common in diabetics than anyone else.
Proper management of glucose level in the blood is the key for the diabetics to maintain his over-all health and thus facilitate for proper blood circulation to especially to the lower extremities and prevent neuropathy from further spreading to the affected areas. Proper foot care management and hygiene should be observed on a daily basis especially for those long-time diabetic patients. Here are some tips for persons with diabetes to keep their feet healthy:
• Wash your feet daily and let them dry completely especially between the toes.
• Check your feet every day and look for injuries like blisters, cuts, abrasions, hard skin and swellings. If you have already exhibiting signs of nerve damage and poor blood circulation, daily feet check-up should be more thorough than usual. Use a mirror if you have a hard time looking at the soles of your feet and if possible seek the help others who can clearly see those parts you have trouble seeing or if you have blurry eyes to begin with.
• Wear proper footwear and socks all the time. Walking barefoot is a no-no even inside the house. Buy shoes and other footwear that fit well and discard those that is ill-fitting.
• If you notice that the skin of your feet is dry, rub a thin coat of lotion on the affected part but do not put lotion or any moisturising cream between your toes.
• Make sure that there is a good flow of blood in your feet all the time. When sitting or lying in bed or in the sofa, put up your feet to facilitate a better blood circulation. Avoid crossing your legs whenever possible especially for a long period of time and don't smoke.
• Cut your toenails only when needed. Do not let your toenails stick out from your toes. Trim them but not too short. You can file the edges with an emery board.
• Most importantly, take proper care of your diabetes. Make sure your glucose levels stays at an acceptable range all the time if possible.
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