A long time ago when I was not a diabetic, I ran into a man at the mall who had an amputated leg. In our conversation he told me he was a diabetic and his leg was amputated due to complications. I had heard about diabetic complications by that time, but I just never took time to think about them because that was not my problem then. How was I to know someday I would be in a situation where I would have to constantly be cautious about infections, amputations, heart disease, diet, exercise, foot care, skin care, etc?
After 20 some years, I still remember him. And when I think about him, I think about millions of others who are in the same situations. Diabetes is called a silent killer for a reason. It affects every body organ in different ways. Only a percentage of the world's population is aware of diabetic complications. Up until 20 years ago diabetes was believed to be a harmless disease which is reversible with proper medicines, diet and exercise. People overlooked long term effects of this disease because it is not as fast spreading as cancers or other diseases. Recent efforts to raise diabetic awareness by world health organizations and the American Diabetic Association brought to light many minor complications that could be prevented by basic care and caution. Foot care is one such aspect of the total diabetic care which can be maintained by anyone .
Diabetes affects a person's feet because of several reasons:
1. Negligence in personal hygiene.
2. Out of control blood sugars.
3. Improper use of foot wear.
4. Poor blood circulation with long term diabetes.
5. Nerve damage.
6. Weather conditions.
8. Improper diet and exercise.
1. Amputations caused by poor hygiene are most common in diabetics.Because of their orientation in anatomy feet are the most neglected of a human body . Simple tasks such as washing feet with lukewarm water and paying attention to the areas in between toes can prevent infections. Soaking feet in water for long time is not recommended for diabetics as there is always a chance of fungal growth. Nails should be filed every two weeks and feet should be checked regularly for any cuts or scratches.