If you have diabetes and you also smoke, you should consider quitting. Smoking causes a build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels which reduces blood circulation. This lack of blood to the feet can cause sores and ulcers as the tissue gets damaged, it is very important to stop smoking to allow the damage to heal and recover or this could lead to gangrene or amputation.
Having high blood pressure makes it harder for your blood to flow around the body and reach vital areas such as the heart. The lack of blood flow prevents healing of any damage such as ulcers or cuts and scrapes to your feet. It is important to remember that high blood pressure usually has no symptoms and people can usually feel generally well yet still have high blood pressure. Make sure you take advantage of your free blood pressure test at your next check-up.
Do you know how certain foods affect your body and your feet? Learning this can help avoid future foot issues. Healthy levels of cholesterol are vital to enable cells to perform their roles and function to make vitamin D and other hormones. Some examples of good cholesterol are oily fish, fruit and vegetables, nuts, soluble fibre such as fruit/vegetables and oats and barley. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active can be enough to keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
Checking your blood sugar levels is something every diabetic will be familiar with. Routine checks allow you to maintain your levels and avoid your blood glucose levels going too high or too low. If too much sugar is in the blood it damages the vessels which prevent a healthy blood flow to parts of the body such as your feet, eyes and kidneys.
When completing your daily foot checks, look out for the following:
As well as daily self-checking you should get your feet checked at least once a year by a foot doctor, also called a podiatrist. This check will involve checking the feelings and pulses in your feet as well as general foot health. It is especially important to get a thorough foot exam if you have changes in the shape of your feet, loss of feeling in your feet or had foot ulcers or amputation in the past.
Piercing your skin by accident can cause more damage than you think for someone with diabetes. A simple tip to start every day is to wash your feet with warm water and soap every day. Focus on areas like in between your toes as they often get missed. Ensuring your feet are dried properly and are not left moist can encourage bacteria growth. Cut your toenails straight across and use an emery board to smooth the edges. This will reduce your skin getting cut. Avoid cutting corns or calluses which grow on your feet, if you have nerve damage these calluses can turn into ulcers. Instead, check with your doctor and use a pumice stone and rub this smoothly to avoid skin tears.
Some believe that exercise makes diabetes harder to manage, but activity does not always make your blood sugar go down. Being physically active is good for diabetes. It can make a huge difference and reduce complications that can arise around the body. Some benefits include your body’s ability to use insulin is more effective, you will have better blood pressure and cholesterol and have more energy and better sleep. It is best to involve a mixture of exercise into your life e.g. swimming, walking or even everyday home tasks which can include gardening or housework. Joint flexibility is also improved making movement easier for those who may struggle and making it easier for you to reach your toes and do your daily foot check.
Are you looking for home care for yourself or a loved one? Here are some Questions to Ask When Looking for Home Nursing to guide you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Cavendish Homecare using our contact us page.
We understand how diabetes management and care can be overwhelming. At Cavendish Homecare we provide exceptional service and are responsive to your needs. Our team is specialists in creating highly personalised home care plans.
If you would like to speak to a professional about how we can help give us a call on 0203 008 5210.