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Why is Foot Care Important for People with Diabetes ?

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    When we walk or stand, it is our feet that take a full load of our body weight. In the fast-paced life that we lead, a minor foot injury - cuts, bruises or even bug bites - may not bother us as that could be easily treated with suitable medical care. However, for people suffering from diabetes, it could be a cause of concern as it becomes difficult to heal.

    Foot care, that often takes a backseat for most us, is extremely important especially for people with diabetes.

    When it comes to medical care for diabetes-related ailments, health insurance plans are a saving grace at a time when treatment at a private hospitals could cost a family its entire hard-earned savings. Care Health Insurance enables people with diabetes to manage their treatment expenses without any hassles through its customized product ‘Care Freedom’.

    Among the various complications caused by diabetes, foot problems are quite common.

    We tell you everything about foot care for diabetic patients.

    The Link between Diabetes and Foot Complications

    High blood sugar levels over a prolonged period can lead to conditions like nerve damage, infections and circulation problems. This could result in foot problems. A foot problem could reflect in the form of symptoms such as skin discoloration, redness, numbness, pain, tingling, blisters, etc. In some cases, there could be fever, chills and shaking.

    The complications that arise due to diabetes are:

    Diabetic Neuropathy:

    This is a condition involving nerve damage that can make a person lose skin sensations and experience numbness in the feet accompanied by infection, soreness or irritation. Sometimes, their muscles may not function properly, or a pressure created on one part of the foot.

    Lack of sensations may increase the risk of cuts and blisters which could be problematic. If proper treatment is not given, it could lead to the development of infections, ulcers or gangrene in the worst case which requires amputation.

    Peripheral Vascular Disease:

    High blood sugar alters the blood vessels, including arteries. Owing to fatty deposits, the vessels reaching beyond the brain and heart get blocked. Proper blood flow is essential for healing a sore or cut. However, diabetes causes the poor blood flow in the extremities such as the arms and legs. This increases risks of pain, wounds, and infection which would take longer to heal.

    The other common foot-related problems faced by diabetic patients are:

    • Athlete's foot: A fungal infection on the skin that causes itching, redness, and cracks.
    • Fungal infection of nails: A condition where the nails of the person get infected by a Fungus leading to discoloration or brittle nails.
    • Callus: A condition where the hard skin builds up on the lower side of the foot
    • Corns: In this condition, hard skin gets built up between toes or on the bony part of the toe
    • Blisters: A skin problem when a fluid-filled bubble forms on the upper layers of skin
    • Foot Ulcer: A deep sore or break in the skin that increases risks of infections.
    • Hammertoe: A condition where the toe is bent due to weakened muscles. They are sometimes hereditary.

    Some Foot Care Tips for Diabetics

    For diabetic patients, it is essential to keep their blood glucose level under check. It is the first step to avoid foot complications. In addition, necessary foot care must be ensured as mentioned below:

    • Examine your feet on a daily basis to identify any cut, crack, wounds, swelling, rashes, etc.
    • Cleanse your feet using lukewarm water and a soft cloth. Avoid hot water
    • Remember to pat dry the areas between toes
    • Moisturize your feet regularly
    • Clip and file your toenails and trip them to avoid ingrown toenails
    • Avoid walking barefoot. Do not wear ill-fitting shoes
    • Opt for footwear and socks that are diabetes-friendly
    • Never try to remove corns or calluses without expert help
    • Follow foot exercises and physical activities like walking
    • Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long hours
    • Protect your feet from heat and cold
    • Be alert always to avoid foot injury
    • Quit smoking to improve blood circulation

    Opt for Health Insurance for Diabetes from Care Health Insurance and avail of annual health check-ups.

    ^^Number of Cashless Healthcare Providers till 25th March 2022.

    #Source: IBAI Claims Handbook for FY 19-20

    Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only.

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