Diabetes is a very serious disease that can cause many complications in the body. There are approximately 16 million people who are affected by diabetes. Of this amount, 25% suffer with a complication called diabetic neuropathy. This condition affects the nerves. The most common type of neuropathy is called peripheral neuropathy. In peripheral neuropathy, the affected peripheral nerves are the ones that go out to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. The most common symptoms are tingling, numbness, and loss of feeling in the hands and feet.
Because neuropathy causes a loss of feeling or sensitivity to pain in places like the feet, sufferers can sustain bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, pressure sores, and other maladies without even realizing they are hurt. Left unattended, these problems can escalate into major infections, ulcerations, and even possible amputations. It is very important for a patient with foot neuropathy to keep a vigilant eye of the feet. If a patient with diabetes takes proper care of their feet, they will avoid many foot conditions.
Of course, the best way to care for foot neuropathy or prevent it is to control the diabetes. It is of great importance to maintain normal blood sugar levels and blood pressure levels. To help with this, here are some good advice tips:
- Stop smoking if at all possible
- Limit alcohol
- Get regular physicals
- Get regular blood and urine tests
- Do regular exercise according to the doctor’s recommendations
- Take proper care of the feet
Footwear and foot orthotics play an important role in the diabetics life of proper foot care. Footwear that fits poorly can cause irritation and injury to the feet. A special material called plastazote, helps diabetic patients by conforming to heat and pressure given off by the body while being worn on the inside of the show. By customizing to the foot area, this material helps maintain comfort and protection for the diabetic foot. Plastazote is highly recommended to diabetics. However, besides this material, proper footwear should display these added characteristics:
- High, wide toe box (high and wide space in the toe area)
- Removable insoles for fitting flexibility
- Options to fit orthotics inside shoes if deemed necessary
There is also a particular type of sole called the Rocker sole which is designed to reduce pressure to the heel and the ball-of-the-foot area. Firm Heel Counters also provide extra support and stability. Following these measures and watching out for troubles, a diabetic patient can prevent the foot neuropathy issues and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
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