Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Summer is Approaching.. Diabetics Check your Feet!

Summer time is almost here. The weather is becoming nicer and all I can think about is ditching my boots and closed toe shoes and putting on my sandals. Are my feet ready. Have I been taking care of them all winter long? Are they dry or possibly cracked?

Here are a couple things to think about before you make the leap to sandal time:

1. Make sure that the sandal you pick has a sturdy sole with good arch support. One with a strap that holds your foot in place is a great shoe. Those flat flip flops that are 5 dollars at walmart are going to kill your feet.

2. Your feet should not have any open lesions if you are wearing an open shoe. Check your feet for dryness, cracks, blisters, or any signs of redness. Cracks or blisters can open during the day and bacteria can cause a skin infection. A cream that has a urea base to it will help get your skin sandal ready in just a couple of weeks.

3. Make sure that you are checking your feet every day. Look in between your toes and at the bottom of your feet. Make sure to check them muiltiple times a day when you are wearing a new sandal or water shoe.

4. Remember that sandals do not have the same support as your walking shoes. Do not wear your sandals when going on long errands, to the mall, or to an amusement park. It is better to save the open toe shoes for short errands, lunch with a friend and for pool time.

5. Always remember that as a Diabetic you have a higher risk for developing sores, blisters and other problems with your feet. If you notice any issues seek medical attention with a podiatrist.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nutrition May Be The Key To Limiting Complications

Diabetic complications are becoming more well known.  In fact, many people are advocating aggressive control of diabetes to control the diabetic complications.  Some nutrition changes may further help limit these complications also.  Let me list the 4 key elements that will help limit diabetic complications:

1.  Avoid excessive alcohol.  Alcohol has been shown to to increase the oxidative damage to nerves that can further lead to neuropathy.  Although regular alcohol use should not increase this risk, excessive alcohol can even cause neuropathy without other causes.  Limit your alcohol consumption to reduce neuropathy risks.

2. Well balanced diet.  Eating a quality diet helps provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that are utilized by the body to repair tissues and maintain the functioning thereof.  If a diet has limitations in any essetial nutrient, increased risks of complications will present.  Some common vitamins that have been associated with diabetic complications include vitamin B6, B12, Folic Acid, and B1.  Often supplementing this nutrients may improve complications, even the presentation of neuropathy.

3.  Avoid smoking.  Although not exactly a nutrition aspect, smoking has been associated with decreased circulation to the feet (from the nicotin) and can cause significant complications to the extremities (feet and hands).  Not smoking is therefore a key point to consider.

4. Exercise.  I have long felt that exercise of any level is an important part of nutrition.  Eating correctly can only help to a point.  Activities can improve the functioning of all the internal systems, improving the metabolism of foods, the digestion of foods and even the bodies use of these foods.  This is one of the reasons exercise has been shown to not just limit complications but even improve symptoms of diabetes.

If you want to limit your diabetic complications, following these 4 steps can significantly help.  So lets limit your complications from diabetes... For additional information, visit our Diabetes Page.