According to the CDC, 34.2 million people have diabetes. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke found that 60-70% of diabetes patients suffer from some level of peripheral neuropathy.
What is Neuropathy?
Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition where there is a disruption in the nervous system that prevents sensory information from being sent through your system. Patients who suffer from peripheral neuropathy can experience a variety of symptoms related to this nerve damage. These unpleasant symptoms include things such as not feeling if your feet are cold, numbness, tingling or burning, pain, or weakness in your extremities.
How can diabetic socks help?
Diabetic socks are specially designed to help promote blood flow resulting from poor circulation. Diabetic compression socks also help relieve peripheral edema, or swelling in your limbs, which is common in those with circulation problems.
Pain and swelling can limit your quality of life. Diabetic socks are a great way to support circulation and start to improve your standard of living. Because of restricted blood flow, poor circulation can lead to slow wound healing, tissue death and damage, or amputation. By encouraging blood flow and preventing swelling diabetic compression socks are a great supporting treatment option. Because of the support and compression, diabetic compression socks have the potential added benefit of lowering the risk of blood clots.
People with diabetes can also benefit from the moisture-wicking and graduated compression that is standard in the design of diabetic socks. The feet are one of the most vulnerable areas of the body. Foot care is something to easily forget about. By incorporating diabetic socks into your foot care routine, you’ll find that it is an easy way to start to feel better.
Lack of foot care can lead to many complications for diabetic patients. From ulcers to amputation, ensuring that you’re implementing proper foot care is important. Below are five tips to improved foot care for diabetics patients.
Improve Diabetic Foot Care with These 5 Tips:
Keep your feet dry.
Diabetic socks have moisture-wicking properties that can help limit the impact of foot sweat. With traditional loose-fitting socks, moisture can gather against the skin causing cuts, blisters, or skin irritation. The skin of the feet, for diabetics, is particularly sensitive and should be kept dry and clean. Don’t forget to dry the sensitive area between your toes!
Keep your feet clean.
Conventional socks can hold bacteria against the skin. While this can result in unfriendly odors, if you have open wounds infections can also arise. Damp socks are also a breeding ground for fungi. Protect your feet with the anti-microbial properties of diabetic socks and diabetic compression garments.
Don’t forget to regularly trim your toenails and consult a podiatrist if you have corns or calluses that need care. When washing use a soft cloth and a gentle soap. Be sure to avoid going barefoot to prevent skin damage.
Walk a little easier.
Diabetic socks help relieve pressure associated with neuropathic swelling and pain. The compression, support, and padding provided by diabetic socks helps to protect your feet and make it easier to walk.
Wear softer, and weather appropriate, socks.
Traditional socks can have irritating seams that can cause pain, cuts, and blisters. Diabetic socks are seamless and made from soft yarns that reduce discomfort and help protect against skin damage. In cold weather, extra warm diabetic socks can help prevent cold-weather skin damage. In the summer opt for light socks or sunscreen to protect the sensitive skin of your feet.
Activity is a great way to support circulation. Try not to stay seated for long periods, consider standing at least once every hour. Diabetic socks also can help support circulation. Compared to conventional socks, diabetic socks have a non-elastic binding that makes them more comfortable and less restrictive.
Diabetic socks and Diabetic compression socks help support blood flow that can otherwise be restricted in people with diabetes. Limited blood flow can result in permanent limb damage. With so many options on the market it can be hard to begin to narrow down the right ones.
How do I know which diabetic sock to buy?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to ensure that you pick out the right diabetic sock for you.
- What climate or temperature do I spend the most time in? Is my home typically cold?
- Am I experiencing swelling in my feet?
- Do I tend to have sweaty feet?
- Will I need dressy or casual socks? What sock height do I typically prefer?
- Do I need my socks to have any additional properties? (Ex: odor elimination, seamless, compression level)
Call your doctor if…
While wearing a diabetic compression sock or garment can help support blood circulation and blood flow in your feet it’s also important to stay in close contact with your medical providers. Doctors and medical professionals should be alerted if you’re noticing any of the following symptoms:
- Numbness or bluish skin
- Increased numbness throughout a limb
- Balance problems when standing
While you should pay particular attention to your foot care, as calves and feet are the most common sites for diabetic amputations, it’s important to be mindful of your hands and arms. Upper limbs are also at risk of peripheral neuropathy and peripheral artery disease. If you begin to notice a change in your grip strength contact your doctor.
Kidney failure can be another concern for those with diabetes. If you have problems with urinating, changes in appetite, or swelling in your limbs – contact your doctor. Retinopathy, or vision problems, may also be a complication of diabetes. Contact your doctor if you notice changes in your vision such as floaters, significant blurriness, or blindness.