Structure of the foot is complicated. Each foot has 26 bones, 19 muscles and 32 joints.
According to an estimate, by the time an individual reaches 55 years of age, he or she has already walked around 70,000 miles, which is equivalent to going around the earth twice.
Over the years, very useful research studies have been carried out on diabetes and its treatment, but problems of feet create very serious difficulties. These problems are generally caused to patients whose diabetes does not remain under control for a very long time.
Problems of feet:
- Reduced blood circulation in the feet:
Due to the constriction or blockage of blood vessels, blood circulation may get reduced or stop in the feet. As a result, skin becomes thinner, hair on the feet fall off, possibility of scars and ulcer on feet increase, which may be very painful.
- Effect on nervous system (Neuropathy):
When the nervous system is affected, feet become warm, dry and sensation-less. Besides, the shape of feet changes as muscles weaken. As a result, the risk of developing corns or ulcer increases.
Infection is caused when the nerves of the feet are affected, blood circulation reduces, and the sugar levels in blood remain high. Infections may cause fever, swelling of feet, redness and puss exudation from the wound.
Usually, all the aforesaid problems may be caused to diabetes patients.
Due to this, delay is caused in healing of small injuries on the feet. Sometimes these injuries never get healed, and foot may decay and may have to be amputated.
With proper diagnosis using ultramodern equipment and getting treatment from a specialist doctor, in 90% of cases of diabetic foot, limb can be saved from getting amputed.
If a diabetic patient takes daily care of feet, it becomes easier to reduce foot problems or even eliminating them.
- Wash your feet daily with warm water and soap. Ensure that water is not too hot. You can test the temperature of water with your hand.
- Dry your feet properly. Make sure that no moisture remains on them. Be sure to dry spaces between the toes.
- If you do not experience pain in your feet, you may not recognize cuts, gashes, or bruises. Therefore, examine your feet daily. Check the soles and the top portion of the toes. If necessary, use a small mirror or a magnifying glass to examine your feet. If your eyesight is not good and you cannot bend to inspect closely, you may ask your family members to do so.
- Palpate your feet to find out whether it is cold or whether the skin has thickened. Other factors you must be mindful of are: Is a bone jutting out? Has the shape of the foot changed? Does the foot have a swelling or an inflammation or an ulcer or a gash? If you have any of these problems, you must inform your doctor.
- Always trim your nails properly and straight. Do not try to cut your nails from deep inside. The patient whose vision is hazy should not cut the nails himself or herself. Otherwise along with the nail, toe could be injured.
- Keep your skin smooth. You can use oil or lotion to do so. Avoid using fragrant oil. Do not apply oil in between the toes. You can use powder.
- Do not apply nail polish on the toes. Also do not apply coloured medicines like iodine or mehandi (which may change the colour of the feet) so that redness or inflammation on the feet can be detected easily.
- Avoid walking barefoot anywhere.
- Your socks should not be too tight or loose. Always use clean and soft cotton socks of proper size.
- Always wear comfortable shoes of the right size. Avoid wearing moist footwear as it may cause infection.
- Check your footwear daily. Inspect them for any crack or cut. Has the inner portion has puffed up? Is there a nail-bite?
- Do not wear new shoes for more than 30 minutes a day till it is softened.
- Go for a daily walk, which will improve blood circulation in your feet.
- Take immediate treatment in case of corns or calluses. Do not use strips meant to remove calluses or corns.
- Don’t do bathroom surgery. Even after being careful, if you have a boil on a foot or an ordinary injury or a wound that does not heal within two to three days, follow the doctor’s advice instead trying self-medication.
- Protect your feet from the effects of changes in weather (excessive heat, cold or moisture).
- A foot of a diabetic is as vulnerable as that of the thigh of Duryodhan.
- It is the weakest organ. Benumbed nervous system, decreased blood circulation and no apparent sign.
- Take care of your feet as much as you care for your face.
- Take care of your feet by yourself- this is the key to success