Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases affecting over 5% of the global population. The condition leads to an insufficiency of the body to absorb or metabolize glucose. Glucose or sugar is a primary constituent of our diet and one of the main sources of energy for the body. The breakdown of glucose within the body is done by the hormone insulin which is secreted by the pancreas.
Diabetes, types and effects
In Diabetes, the pancreas either fails to produce insulin in sufficient quantity known as Type 1 or the body becomes insulin resistant, losing the capacity to metabolize glucose known as Type 2.
The excess glucose remains in the blood stream leading to a rise in blood sugar level and damage in circulation. This condition leads to a slow deterioration of body tissues, nerves, organs, joints and the immune system.
Diabetes, in earlier times used to affect people in the older age groups with the Type 1 diabetes being more common. However, today Type 2 diabetes incidents are rising alarmingly and over 90% of patients with diabetes are afflicted with insulin resistance.
What's causing concern is that people in younger age groups and even teenagers are showing symptoms of the condition. The urban lifestyle is one of the main causes for the rise in Type 2 Diabetes incidence.
Some of the factors that give rise to Diabetes are
- Low nutrition diet (junk or processed food)
- High intake of sugary foods and drinks
- Alcohol and tobacco consumption
- Sedentary lifestyle with little or no exercise
- Stressful routine without any relaxation
Diabetes and foot care
The feet especially need to be taken care of as with progressive diabetes the nerve functions get impaired. This leads to a failure to detect cuts or injuries to the feet. Due to poor blood circulation, impaired healing factor and low immunity, the injuries do not heal quickly and are at risk for infection.
An injury can become septic which in extreme cases can also need amputation of the limit. Foot ulcers are another cause for concern caused due to bruising or breaking of the skin due to friction. Diabetes also affects the joints in the feet, which leads to arthritic conditions making it difficult to walk.
Diabetic foot care guidelines
Treatment for diabetic foot disease is often long drawn and prevention is always better than cure.
Here are some things to be followed for diabetic feet care
Cleanness – Keep your feet clean at all times by washing with a mild soap and lukewarm water. Dry the skin gently with a soft towel. Apply a suitable lotion or talcum powder if required.
Examine feet – Check the feet daily for any cuts, wounds or bruises thoroughly. Do not forget to inspect between the toes where scabs tend to develop. Conduct the examination in bright light. Do not forget to cut toenail properly to avoid ingrown nails.
Exercise -Exercises like treadmill jogging and spot cycling will strengthen your feet muscles and ensure healthy blood circulation. Exercise will not only help you to maintain weight but also tone up your muscles.
Never go bare feet – Wear footwear at all times when walking whenever at home or outside. Also wear cotton socks which will protect the feet from bruising.
Proper footwear – Poor fitting shoes will cause damage to your feet along with cutting circulation. Get your feet measured before selecting footwear. Shoes that provide ample space for the toes at the front and sides are best. Avoid shoes with heels.
Schedule your appointment with Diabetic Doctor periodically and get your feet checked. Problems like numbness or sores need medical attention as soon as possible. Regular foot care from a Diabetic Foot Care Doctor is important to prevent complications.