Diabetic Foot Care 101

August 5, 2013 by Admin

Although it is not be made of metal, the human body is a machine, an organic one, but a machine nonetheless. And like all machines it needs a power supply to function properly.  In other words, it needs energy. And how do people get energy? They eat, of course.  The calories we consume on a daily basis are used to help our cells perform vital functions. But sometimes when we eat too much, the fuel becomes less effective. In other words, our cells become intolerant of glucose, which is the body’s primary energy source.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. Only about 10 percent of them are actually born with diabetes mellitus type 1, while the other 90 percent have the acquired form of the disorder, type 2 diabetes. Formerly known as adult-onset diabetes, the metabolic disorder is strongly linked to obesity and poor eating habits. The chronic illness can cause serious health complications, blindness, stroke, and heart and renal failure.

Diabetic Foot Care

As we mentioned, our bodies needs energy to function. But when they don’t get enough or can’t process it efficiently, glucose (energy) is sent to nearby areas.  It rarely makes its way to faraway places, such as the extremities, which is why many diabetics have serious foot problems.  Damage to the nervous system can actually progress to a point where a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his/her feet.

Why is this?

When our feet do not receive enough energy, they will not perform vital functions, which include sweat and oil production. Without these admittedly unpleasant exudations, the skin on our feet will begin to breakdown and sores may soon develop.  And since they are energy-deficient and the blood vessels that lead to them may be damaged, it will take much longer to heal these wounds, making them more vulnerable to infections.  When these wounds are left untreated, they can become gangrenous and make require a surgical solution, i.e., amputation.


When the circulation in your feet is already impaired due to diabetes, the last thing you want to do is wear tight-fitting shoes.  Red spots, blisters, corns, calluses, and ankle pain should never be ignored if you suffer from the chronic disorder. That is not to say you have to wear sandals everywhere you go. But a comfortable pair of shoes that are a bit too big should improve circulation in your feet and lead to fewer complications.

Nerve Damage

When a diabetic cannot feet his feet, it means that he is suffering from peripheral neuropathy, also known as nerve damage. And when this happens, the patient is far less likely to pay attention to his extremities. He may not notice, for instance, that they are cuts, sores, blisters, and infections that are simply not healing. As a result, all diabetics with nerve damage should closely inspect their feet for injuries on a regular basis. If there is a problem, no matter how minor, they should call their doctor as soon as possible.


Just as it does in the heart, tobacco can damage the small blood vessels in your feet and legs. So, if you are concerned about diabetic foot care, stop smoking! Please! The damage that is done when you inhale increases the chance of infections and irreparable injuries, such as amputations.

When to see your doctor

If you suffer from diabetes and sustain any significant trauma to your legs or feet, seek medical care immediately.  Remember, the first rule of diabetic foot care is to address problems as they happen, not to ignore them. A small injury can easily become a serious wounded if it is not treated in a timely manner.

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