People with diabetes are often at greater risk of sustaining foot injuries or getting an infection due to potential nerve damage caused by high blood sugar.
This nerve damage – known as diabetic neuropathy – decreases sensation, leading to a greater threat of injury, injuries that you might not even know are there. This is why footwear choices and the right pair of diabetic socks are so important to people with diabetes.
Traditional socks can be harmful to people dealing with diabetic neuropathy. Thick seams and bunching can lead to blisters that can turn into sores and become infected if unnoticed. And because neuropathy makes your feet less sensitive, there’s a greater chance you won’t notice foot injuries.
Diabetic socks provide an excellent method of preventing the pain, sores and cuts caused by neuropathy. Made from softer material than standard socks, they’re gentle on your feet and made with a smaller seam to provide a better, more comfortable fit.
They also keep your feet warm to improve circulation, which helps prevent neuropathy.
Dealing with diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic socks are just one way to manage neuropathy. Some of the other things you can do include:
1. Better foot care
In addition to wearing the right socks and shoes – your shoes should be soft and well-fitting – you should do a daily check of your feet for blisters, calluses or cuts, as well as changes in color and dry, cracked skin. If you do find an injury, don’t wait to treat it.
Look for exercises that are easy on your feet. Aerobics classes or anything that involves a lot of jumping or bouncing may not work, so choose exercises that don’t put as much pressure on the feet, such as walking or swimming.
An active lifestyle will lower your blood sugar and your stress level and reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Healthy eating is extremely important for people with diabetic neuropathy. Your diet should include low-fat meats and dairy products, as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
You won’t have to cut out alcohol, but you should drink with caution. Even two drinks in a single day can affect your blood sugar levels and aggravate diabetes symptoms. The American Diabetes Association recommends women with diabetes limit themselves to a single drink per day (men can have two).
3. Cut out smoking
Smoking can exacerbate diabetic neuropathy and put you at greater risk for heart and kidney disease. If you’re a smoker who’s been diagnosed with diabetes, consult with your doctor on the best way to quit. And on that note…
4. Talk to your doctor
When you have diabetes, you’ll be seeing more of your doctor. They can help you deal with diabetic neuropathy and other ailments connected to the illness. In addition to your general practitioner, you may also want to find a podiatrist and ophthalmologist, as diabetes affects both the eyes and feet.
If you’d like to learn more about diabetes and diabetic footcare, Creative Care can help. We’ve spent more than 30 years working with people who have diabetic neuropathy to make sure they have the right pair of socks. Contact us today to learn more or browse our online store to find a pair of diabetic socks that’s right for you.