By Dr. Donna Barrese
December 15, 2016
Category: treatments
Tags: Diabetes   Foot Disorders  

Excess glucose in the blood resulting from diabetes can cause poor circulation and nerve damage. As a result, foot disorders may occur. Nerve damage can cause the patient to lose feeling in the feet, as the nerves may not send signals to the brain. Poor blood flow makes it much harder for foot problems to heal. Here are a few tips to minimize the swelling and help avoid trips to the podiatrist.


1. Compression Socks and Bandages

Wearing compression stockings or bandages exerts pressure to the foot to reduce fluid buildup. This pressure allows the flue to flow to the lymphatic system and also enhances the flow of blood. Diabetes patients with edema can wear mild compression stockings to reduce foot and calf swelling without imperiling vascularity. A patient can seek the help of a podiatrist to select the right socks.


2. Regular Exercises

Diabetic individuals can engage in physical activities that are easy on the feet. Some of these activities include swimming, bicycling, dancing and walking. It is advisable to avoid activities that are rough on the feet such as jumping and running. Aerobic exercises help to improve blood flow and the health of the feet.


3. Proper Shoes Are Important

Wearing shoes that fit well helps to prevent foot issues that will prolong swelling. The shoes should have ample toe room. Diabetics should not wear pointed or heel shoes as they put pressure on the toes. Plastic or vinyl shoes are not appropriate options because they don't stretch and have poor aeration. A podiatrist will recommend athletic or walking shoes as they offer great support.


4. Keep the Feet Healthy and Clean

The feet should be washed every day with warm water and dried well to keep them clean and healthy. The areas between the toes should be dry and patients can use cornstarch or talcum powder to dry them. After drying the feet, it is advisable to apply a thin layer of cream, petroleum jelly or lotion to the feet to keep them soft and smooth. Those who have calluses and corns should not cut them as this damages the skin.


Other ways to reduce swelling include avoiding salt intake to avoid swelling and elevating the legs to drain excess fluids. Proper foot care is important for diabetics to prevent worsening of any foot issues. Patients should always make an appointment with a podiatrist when there are physical changes.