Having diabetes can complicate your life in many ways. In addition to having to watch what you eat, you also need to worry about your circulation.
When you have high blood sugar, it can damage your blood vessels, leading to plaque build-up, which in turn lessens your blood flow. Diabetics can also develop neuropathy, or nerve damage, which can mean a loss in feeling.
Leg cramps, pain while walking, or numbness in your feet or toes an all be signs of poor circulation.
Issues Caused by Poor Circulation
Diabetes and poor circulation can lead to other foot and leg problems:
- Sores that don’t heal – Poor circulation and neuropathy in the feet can cause cuts and blisters to turn into ulcers or sores that become infected and don’t heal.
- Dry skin – Neuropathy and poor circulation can make your skin dry. This can cause your skin to crack, which leads to infections.
- Corns, calluses and bunions – These can develop due to neuropathy, and turn into ulcers.
- Ingrown toenails – Again, these can go unnoticed due to loss of feeling, and lead to an infection if not treated.
- Charcot foot – This is a more serious condition, which develops when your loss of sensation is so great that you don’t feel a broken bone in your foot. A person in this situation would continue to walk on the broken bone, making the damage even worse. Surgery or even amputation may become necessary.
Protecting Your Feet from Poor Circulation
Fortunately, the steps you’re – hopefully – taking to control your blood sugar levels can also help combat poor circulation:
- Stick to the meal plan you’ve created with the help of your doctor or a nutritionist.
- Check your blood sugar daily, and check in with your doctor about blood sugar readings.
- Half of every meal should be heart-healthy fruits and vegetables.
- Get regular exercise. If you have reduced sensitivity in your legs and/or feet, exercises such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, tai chi and yoga can help. Be sure to wear diabetes socks while exercising, as they can help prevent injury.
There are also measures you can take to protect your feet:
- Inspect your feet daily, looking for skin and nail problems – cuts, scrapes, swelling, discoloration – as well as signs of a fracture. If your foot is swollen, red, hot or has changed in shape or size, see a foot and ankle surgeon right away.
- Don’t let leg pain go unchecked. Pain that develops after a little activity or at night can be the result of a blocked artery, and requires immediate care.
- Don’t go barefoot. Wear shoes inside and outside.
- Don’t try to trim calluses yourself, and avoid over-the-counter medicated pads.
Diabetes Socks Aid Circulation
And again, wearing the right sock is an important part of diabetic foot care.
Creative Care can help if you’re looking for diabetes socks that will protect your feet. We’ve been a leader in the diabetes sock world for more than three decades, making long-lasting socks designed to stay in place while not constricting your legs.
Visit our website today to find the sock that’s right for you.