Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar levels are too high. Too much sugar can damage your nerves and blood vessels over time, causing you to lose feeling in your feet.
This can cause serious issues down the track. What was originally a small cut or blister goes unchecked since the reduced ability to feel pain means you don’t notice you’ve got an injury.
These small injuries can then lead to infections. Damaged blood vessels prevent your feet from getting sufficient nutrients and oxygen to heal your feet. If the problem becomes really serious, then the foot may need to get amputated.
We like our feet very much and would like to keep both of them if we can, so we have compiled some information here about diabetic foot and how to manage pain. Let's take a look on symptoms of diabetes foot pain:
Here are some of the causes and contributing factors:
There is no treatment to cure diabetic foot. Once the nerves have been damaged, there is no way to fix them. Current treatments for diabetic foot focus on slowing disease progression and pain management.
Trying to keep your blood sugar level within a healthy range can help to delay the progression of diabetic foot. Your doctor will give you a recommended target range based on your health and other factors.
The best way to manage diabetic foot pain is to prevent the disease from getting any worse. This can be done by:
Drugs such as gabapentin and carbamazepine are used to treat epilepsy. They are good at calming down the nerves, slowing down the pain signals generated by the damaged nerves in your feet.
The tricyclic antidepressants can provide some pain relief by interfering with the chemicals in your brain that detect pain. Unfortunately, these medications cannot be used for long periods of time due to their undesirable side effects such as weight gain, dizziness and a dry mouth.
Exercising will help you to lose weight and reduce inflammation and pain by improving blood circulation to your feet.
Losing weight can also help to manage your diabetes, since your body may eventually become more responsive to insulin again in the future. This means you won’t need to take as many medications.
If your diabetic foot is quite advanced, then it may not be possible to perform some exercises and your doctor may recommend alternatives which do not require you to support your own weight.
These alternatives include water exercises such as swimming or cycling.
Prevent the development of painful diabetic foot ulcers by regularly checking your foot. Since you have reduced sensations in your foot, you now need to rely on your eyes to seek out cuts, sores or swelling. Even though you can’t feel any problems, that doesn’t mean they’re not there!
Wash your feet every day and dry them fully with a towel. Don’t forget to moisturize afterwards and avoid moisturizing between the toes as this may promote fungal growth. Keep the blood flowing to your feet as best as you can and protect your feet from extreme temperatures.
Cut your toenails, file down those corns and calluses and always keep an eye out for any signs of new nerve damage to your feet, redness or swelling. If anything, new pops out which you are unsure about, it’s best to see a doctor straight away, rather than to leave it until it’s too late.
Shoes with lots of padding and cushioning will help to relieve some of the pain when you are walking. Proper fitting footwear is very important if you have diabetic foot since the development of blisters, corns or other injuries from ill-fitting footwear will heal poorly due to poor circulation of blood to the feet.
If you develop injuries on your feet, they can start to form ulcers and lead to amputation. So, the proper footwear is extremely important unless you want to face the risk of amputation. Here are some suggestions to help you find the best shoes for diabetic foot:
Wear rounded shoes instead of those with pointed toes. The wider toe box prevents your toes from being squeezed together, which can cause pain, blisters, corns and other injuries. Wear breathable material. You don’t want your feet to get all sweaty and gross and a rash to develop.
Smoking damages your nerves and your blood vessels. Tobacco smoke causes your blood vessels to harden so they do not allow blood to circulate properly.
If you’re a diabetic who is also a smoker, you are at much higher risk at of developing nerve damage compared with a diabetic non-smoker (along with suffering from a heart attack or a stroke).