For people suffering with diabetes, one of the major concerns of both patients and doctors is foot problems. Leg and foot problems are quite common in diabetics, as the extremities have poor circulation and diabetes complicates this fact very much. There is good news, however, as there are some simple tips and tricks that can greatly improve the circulation in the legs and feet, and a number of good ways to help heal the feet after an injury or an ulcer.
As with all things in life, the best medicine is prevention. Simple things such as examining your feet regularly and applying moisturizer daily can go a long way in ensuring that your feet stay healthy. Keeping obstacles clear up and moving things that you may bump your feet on can prevent a large number of problems. Keeping your toenails trimmed using safety nail clippers can also prevent injuries and infections from occurring. Smoking is known to cause loss of circulation in all people, so it is especially important for diabetics who smoke to seriously consider quitting. Because the blood vessels in the legs and feet are so small and so distant from the heart, they are the first to be affected by diminishing circulation. When it is possible, diabetics should try to exercise, as this improves both circulation and blood sugar levels. Wearing cotton or wool socks, or if you can, purchasing diabetic socks will help prevent a lot of foot ailments common in people with diabetes. These socks, with special emphasis on the diabetic socks, have extra padding, which advances injuries and blisters from occurring. They also help keep the feet dry, which greatly reduces the risk of infection.
If you have developed a foot ulcer, it is essential that you take the best possible care of it, as if it is improperly treated, it can cause complications such as gangrene, and in some cases may result in the amputation of part or all of the foot. The two largest concerns with foot ulcers in diabetics are keeping it clean and removing dead tissue. The doctor may have to help you in removing the dead tissue, but you will be able to clean it properly from home. Be sure to clean it frequently and thoroughly and to only walk on it when it is absolutely necessary, as walking on the affected foot will greatly delay healing. As with any foot injury, be sure to inform your doctor of the ulcer as soon as you notice it, and to inspect it frequently for changes and for signs that it is not healing properly. You may also want to talk to your doctor about medicines and remedies for treating the ulcer naturally. For example, recent studies have shown great success in speeding up the healing of diabetic foot ulcers using a vitamin A compound. If your doctor is unfamiliar with the studies, he or she will be able to look into them reliably easily to determine if they will be right for you.
In summary, there are a number of natural ways to help diabetics care for their feet. Prevention is always going to be the best method, but there are treatments that can be done at home as well. Always seek the advice of your doctor before treating foot injuries, and be sure to always examine your feet daily and keep your doctor aware of any changes.