Diabetes is insidious. It can affect any organ and system in your body leading to unpleasant and sometimes dangerous consequences. Unfortunately, diabetes can damage the nervous system and the first concerning sign of it is foot issues.
Those who don’t control their diabetes can actually develop nervous system disease called neuropathy. Neuropathy usually provokes a lack of sensation, pressure, and temperature sensations. The condition can also impact your foot health. If left ignored, neuropathy can result in gangrene.
What is type 1 diabetes? This is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas which results in an insulin deficiency. When the body lacks insulin it can’t use glucose for energy production and therefore it uses fat. The breakdown of fat creates ketones that accumulate in the bloodstream leading to a potentially life-threatening chemical imbalance known as ketoacidosis.
Although type 1 diabetes often occurs in children, it can affect people of any age. The most common symptoms of type 1 diabetes include excessive thirst, frequent urination, unexpected weight loss, vision problems, and constant fatigue. These symptoms are usually acute.
You probably know that type 1 diabetes requires insulin treatment for survival. Treatment might also require taking other medications in order to prevent kidney damage or to treat diabetes-related issues. These include high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, and neuropathy.
People with type 1 diabetes who drink too much alcohol, have high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Smokers are at the highest risk of getting neuropathy and PAD. Any of these diseases can make a person susceptible to infections and deformity. That’s why it’s essential to keep your body healthy and strong to avoid terrifying complications and death. Let’s take a look at some good tips that can help you.
1. Wash your feet every day.
Before washing your feet, check the water temperature with your hand since your feet might not feel the heat. Wash them only in warm water, because heat can dry out your foot skin and result in cracking. Dry your feet thoroughly and don’t forget to apply a moisturizing cream or baby oil to avoid skin dehydration. Don’t apply cream between the toes since any moist conditions in this area can lead to an infection.
2. Improve your blood flow.
In order to improve your blood flow, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends exercising 150 minutes per week. Try an exercise that is easy on the feet like swimming, walking, or biking. Try to avoid activities like running and jumping. In addition to enhancing your blood flow, regular exercise can help you lower your blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.
3. Find a podiatrist FOOT DOCTOR
In order to prevent foot issues related to neuropathy, ask your health care provider to refer you to a foot doctor who is experienced diabetes treatment. Most diabetes sufferers visit a podiatrist at least once or twice a year.
Your foot doctor will check for ulcers between your toes, bone abnormalities, and calluses. They will also test the sensation in your feet using a 10g monofilament test. It evaluates touch and pressure sensation.
4. Keep healthy blood sugar levels.
It’ essential to work with the healthcare team to properly control blood sugar levels. This should be done to avoid any damage and dangerous conditions. Ask your healthcare provider what you should do if your blood glucose levels are too high or too low.
5. Give up smoking.
Smoking increases the possibility of foot complications since it narrows and hardens your blood vessels so that fewer nutrients and insufficient oxygen move to your feet. Smoking also affects your cholesterol and blood pressure levels and puts you at high risk of stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, and gangrene. Talk to your doctor about how to give up smoking.
6. Control your blood pressure and fat levels.
It’s also important to control your blood pressure every time you visit your healthcare provider. You should also check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels at least once a year.