Diabetic foot pain

Diabetic foot pain

A lot of people with diabetes experience problems with their feet. These problems occur because diabetes damages the nerves in the feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy. This condition causes a loss of feeling and numbness in the feet, making it difficult for people to feel small cuts and blisters which, if left untreated, can lead to sores and infections.
If an infection is not treated properly, it can lead to amputation. Diabetic nerve damage can also cause sharp pain in the feet. Furthermore, diabetes can reduce blood flow to the feet. This makes it more difficult for cuts, sores and blisters to heal.

Preventing diabetic foot pain

Fortunately, people with diabetes can do a lot to help prevent foot problems:

  • Check both feet daily: nerve damage can lead to a lack of feeling in the feet. Small cuts and sores may be left unnoticed. Some people with diabetes only notice blisters or sores when they have become infected. Therefore, to prevent problems from getting worse, it is advised to check feet on a daily base. Washing the feet daily with lukewarm water is a good way to check them.
  • Wear well fitting shoes: ill fitting shoes can cause pressure on the foot causing blisters or sores. These can become infected and heal slowly. Before buying new shoes, it is advised to check the shoes on rough edges and seams.
  • Always wear shoes: during a summer holiday it can be tempting to walk barefoot on the beach. Hot surfaces can cause damage to the feet. Also, it’s best to wear socks with shoes because shoe materials can cause irritation and cause blisters.
  • Keep the skin soft: the skin on the feet may get dry and cracked due to diabetes. When the skin is cracked, it is easier for bacteria to get under the skin and cause infections. Moreover, these infections are hard to heal. Applying lotion or crème on the feet daily helps against the dryness.
  • Fix calluses and corns: pressure and rubbing on the foot can cause thick and rough skin to build up. The skin can crack which can lead to infections. It’s important to smooth calluses and corns. A regular visit to a pedicure can be of help.

Monitoring blood glucose

The best prevention for diabetic foot pain is managing blood glucose levels. High blood glucose causes diabetic nerve problems. A doctor can help with medication or a diet plan. Also, regular exercise helps control blood glucose.