Wear Therapeutic Shoes To Avoid Swollen Feet
Edema can make walking difficult, and most shoes dont accommodate swollen feet.
Some orthopedic footwear companies have designed shoes specifically for people with diabetes with swollen feet. They come with extra-wide openings, pressure-free designs, heavy cushioning, and enhanced comfort.
Wearing shoes for swollen feet can considerably reduce pain and discomfort while improving blood circulation and reducing swelling.
Why Does Diabetes Cause Swollen Feet
A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can come from a number of factors but the main concern is diabetic leg pain associated with neuropathy. Although its origin can be traced to several different factors, it is still a very serious condition which, left untreated, could result in irreparable nerve and blood vessel damage and even amputation.
It is a common known fact that diabetes can result in poor blood circulation. The problem is that the circulation appears in other parts of the body, as well. The reason that the legs are usually affected more is a decreased level of activity and prolonged sitting.
Another common occurrence is a pooling of blood in the lower extremities called peripheral vascular disease. This occurs when there is a thinning of the blood vessels or an obstruction of the large arteries of the legs. This, too, can be associated with being a complication of diabetes and a lack of exercise and mobility.
Poor circulation can also result in neuropathy or nerve damage. This happens because blood is not flowing properly and the diminished blood supply eventually begins to take its toll. Once the nerves are subjected to extreme damage, they become damaged forever. Unfortunately, by the time pain is felt, some damage has usually already occurred. Thats why it is important that you contact your doctor immediately once you begin to experience tingling, pain, or numbness.
What Are The Symptoms Of Peripheral Edema
The most common symptom of peripheral edema is swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs.
You may also experience aching or heaviness in these areas, tightness or throbbing in your veins, stretched skin, and a shiny complexion or discoloration of the skin.
Edema can also cause your skin to pit, or leave an indentation, after being touched but this is not always the case.
If you have any of these symptoms its important to see a doctor because peripheral edema can be a sign of a more serious condition such as diabetes, alcoholism, or congestive heart failure.
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Smooth Corns And Calluses Gently
Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. If you have corns or calluses, talk with your foot doctor about the best way to care for these foot problems. If you have nerve damage, these patches can become ulcers.
If your doctor tells you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing or showering. A pumice stone is a type of rock used to smooth the skin. Rub gently, only in one direction, to avoid tearing the skin.
- use corn plasters, which are medicated pads
- use liquid corn and callus removers
Cutting and over-the counter corn removal products can damage your skin and cause an infection.
To keep your skin smooth and soft, rub a thin coat of lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion or cream between your toes because moistness might cause an infection.
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Try To Lose Some Weight
The more you weigh, the more pressure that your lower extremities are under. To help treat swollen feet, try to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. While it can seem overwhelming, making small healthy changes to your everyday routine can lead to big differences. Maintaining a healthy weight will make diabetes management easier, lower your risk of complications, and help you retain more stable blood sugar levels.
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Are Swollen Ankles A Sign Of Diabetes
As we mentioned previously, swollen feet and ankles are not always only caused by diabetes, but the condition is certainly the most common cause. Leg swelling can be caused by high blood pressure, leg injuries, and certain medications.
If you are worried that your legs are swollen due to undiagnosed diabetes, be sure to consult with your physician. They will provide you with all of the information you need about the nature of your condition and how to treat swollen feet and improve blood circulation throughout your body.
Dont Forget To Drink Water
When your body is retaining fluid, it might seem counterproductive at first to drink more water. However, the more fluid you consume, the more fluid you will expel through urination.
Furthermore, your body retains as much water as possible when dehydrated. Try your best to drink 810 glasses of water each day to improve the state of your swelling.
Of course, before you increase your intake of fluids, be sure to consult your doctor to determine whether or not this is the best practice for you. If your edema is caused by liver or heart issues, your doctor may advise you to consume fewer fluids.
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When Should I Seek Medical Care For Diabetes
If you have diabetes, tell your healthcare provider right away if you experience:
- Any changes in foot shape.
- Any changes to the skin on the feet, including a wound, redness or darkness, warmth or a funny smell.
- Hair loss on your toes, feet or legs.
- Loss of feeling in the toes, feet or legs.
- Pain, tingling, burning or cramping in the feet or legs.
- Thick, yellow toenails.
Tips For Diabetics To Reduce Swollen Feet
When you have diabetes, swollen feet may make things quite difficult. It is therefore important to take steps to prevent swollen feet in the first place. Here are some steps to take.
1. Exercise Regularly
You should exercise regularly when you have diabetes because this improves joint and bone health in your legs and feet. Staying active will also help improve blood circulation and stabilize blood sugar levels. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. You may want to avoid rigorous exercise because it may lead to edema.
2. Keep Your Legs Elevated
To prevent swollen feet, it really helps to keep your feet elevated. All you have to do is place a pillow under legs to elevate your legs a bit for 10-15 minutes every day. This improves circulation and reduces swelling by draining out excess fluid.
3. Try Compression Stockings and Bandages
You really need to do something to improve blood circulation in your legs, and compression stockings really help in this case. By exerting pressure on the affected area, they prevent fluid retention by returning the fluid to the lymphatic system. Similarly, using compression bandages may also help improve circulation and prevent edema in the foot and calves.
4. Limit Your Salt Intake
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
6. Massage Your Feet
7. Maintain a Good Posture
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Peripheral Neuropathy And Diabetes
Diabetic foot pain is mainly due to a condition called peripheral neuropathy. Approximately 50% of people who have type 2 diabetes will develop peripheral neuropathy, which happens when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the nerves in the legs and the feet.
If you are frequently feeling foot pain, your type of neuropathy may be sensory, where even the slightest touch can cause overwhelming pain. The reaction is not proportional to the stimulus, because the nerves are overly sensitive.
Another type of peripheral neuropathy is motor neuropathy, wherein the nerves that connect to the muscles are weakened and therefore hurt. As a result, it may be a challenge to balance yourself with weakened legs and feet. This imbalance may lead to the development of corns, calluses, cuts, scrapes, and swelling.
For diabetics with motor neuropathy, customized orthotics may help address the balance issues and prevent the development of other foot issues. Its important that you keep your muscles in use so that your legs and feet stay strong.
Nerve Supply To The Feet
Nerves are the wiring of the body. They carry messages to your brain from the rest of your body. The nerves to your feet are the most likely to be affected by diabetes.Damaged nerves can cause painful, numb or insensitive feet. Minor cuts, blisters or burns may not be felt and ulcers can develop, which you may not be aware of. Some people with neuropathy experience uncomfortable sensations such as burning, tingling and pain. This is often worse at night.It is important to remember that many people with nerve damage have no symptoms and are unaware of the problem. Nevertheless, they are still at risk of developing ulcers.
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Trim Your Toenails Straight Across
Trim your toenails, when needed, after you wash and dry your feet. Using toenail clippers, trim your toenails straight across. Do not cut into the corners of your toenail. Gently smooth each nail with an emery board or nonsharp nail file. Trimming this way helps prevent cutting your skin and keeps the nails from growing into your skin.
Have a foot doctor trim your toenails if
- you cannot see, feel, or reach your feet
- your toenails are thick or yellowed
- your nails curve and grow into the skin
If you want to get a pedicure at a salon, you should bring your own nail tools to prevent getting an infection. You can ask your health care provider what other steps you can take at the salon to prevent infection.
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How To Treat Swelling From Diabetes
Swelling is certainly uncomfortable and can also be painful. It can severely impact ones quality of life and prevent them from exercising, working and socializing. Fortunately, there are numerous treatments that can minimize swelling in legs, feet and ankles. Many are simply lifestyle swaps whereas others are more situational and can be used when this symptom arises. Try these to reduce the swelling in legs from type 1 or type 2 diabetes:
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So How Diabetes Causes Water Retention In Limbs
The most common type of water retention in diabetes can be seen in the legs and feet . Commonly, water retention occurs as a side effect of insulin therapy or diabetes drugs. Peripheral edema can be the early warning symptom of kidney problems or heart failure related to diabetes.
However, water retention can occur as a result of an injury, surgery, long travels, pregnancy, hormone changes, and certain medication side effects. But if you have diabetes, you need to be extra careful as water retention can make it more difficult for wounds to heal.
When the body doesnt produce or use insulin properly, high levels of glucose can accumulate in the blood. If left untreated, high glucose levels can damage the linings of small blood vessels. This damage can result in poor blood circulation.
When the blood doesnt circulate properly, fluids gets trapped in certain parts of the body, most commonly in the legs, ankles, and feet. If you have diabetes, due to the tendency to slow healing process, swelling can also occur after a foot or ankle injury related to ligaments, tendons, and joints.
Over time, high blood sugar can severly damage the nerves in the lower parts of the body. This can lead to loss of sensation in the affected limb, which makes it difficult to detect injuries like sprains, fractures, and cuts.
When your blood doesnt circulate properly, fluid gets trapped in certain parts of your body, such as the legs, ankles, and feet.
When Should I Be Concerned About Swelling Feet
Swelling in the feet and legs needs to be addressed by your health care provider. You really should pay attention to foot swelling. It could be from the heart, said Caroline Apovian, MD. Your health care provider can evaluate the reason for edema and provide the proper treatment. Untreated swelling in the feet and legs can also lead to other complications, such as ulcers and additional nerve and blood vessel damage.
Diabetes And Leg Swelling: The Terrible Twosome
If you are diabetic, you need to worry about a lot more things like heart diseases and leg swelling. This causes peripheral edema in some cases and can be painful. If you see symptoms of swelling in your ankles, lower legs or feet, it is time to pay your physician an emergency visit.
Diabetes expand blood circulation in an inappropriate way, which can cause swelling in the lower leg region. However, there could be other reasons as well that would cause the swelling. So a visit to the doctor is a must. Diabetes is a serious disease which gives rise to many further complications swelling in the legs is one of them. Lets discuss a few reasons that could be contributing to the swelling and its cure.
What Causes Diabetes
Long-term high blood sugar can cause a type of nerve damage called diabetes-related neuropathy. Diabetes-related neuropathy can occur throughout the body, but most often in the legs and feet.
The condition might make you lose feeling in your feet. If your feet are numb, you might not notice a blister, cut or sore. You might not even feel a pebble in your sock that is cutting your foot, for example. Wounds that go unnoticed and untreated can become infected.
Diabetes can also affect blood flow to your legs and feet. People with diabetes are more likely to develop peripheral artery disease . This condition causes arteries to become narrowed or blocked. Reduced blood flow can make it difficult for a diabetes-related foot ulcer or infection to heal.
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When To See A Doctor
It is always good to know when you should consult your doctor. In diabetic patients, it is recommended that they consult a doctor whenever they notice swelling of the feet. As soon as they have diagnosed the issue, your next call should be in case of a worsening of the swelling.
In our article we have outlined some natural remedies for swollen feet. However, if the swelling still does not reduce, you should consult your doctor. A quick visit to the doctors office should be made in case the swelling is localized to one side of the body.
In that case, the issue may be caused by a case of deep vein thrombosis. This means a blood clot develops in one or more deep veins in the body, which can lead to more serious complications.
You should always visit your doctor regularly. Together, you can determine a schedule for regular visits. This will allow the doctor to keep an eye on a possible infection, foot ulcer, injury, fracture, etc.
Protect Your Feet From Hot And Cold
If you have nerve damage from diabetes, you may burn your feet and not know you did. Take the following steps to protect your feet from heat:
- Wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement.
- Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet to prevent sunburn.
- Keep your feet away from heaters and open fires.
- Do not put a hot water bottle or heating pad on your feet.
Wear socks in bed if your feet get cold. In the winter, wear lined, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.
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Try To Walk As Often As You Can
Although it is difficult to do when dealing with edema, walking around can help get your blood flowing and allow the accumulated fluid in your feet to move from your feet and throughout your body. Thirty minutes to 1 hour of walking each day can help you see a drastic improvement in your swelling and will also help regulate your blood circulation.
Treating Diabetic Neuropathy And Poor Circulation
Specific treatment of conditions that can affect the legs and feet in people with diabetes diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation in the legs and feet is necessary.
Tight control of the amount of glucose in the bloodstream has been shown to reduce the risk of neuropathy, slow its progress and help improve symptoms.
Reducing other risk factors for diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation to the legs and feet can also help. These include:
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Other Causes Of Edema
Heart failure is not the only cause of swelling in the feet. Allergic reactions, burns, trauma, blood clots, or severe inflammation can cause edema as well.
Other causes can include:
- Gravity: If youve been sitting or standing in one place for too long, gravity gradually pulls the fluid in your body down to your legs and feet.
- Varicose veins:Veins in your legs cant get blood back up to your heart, causing blood to collect in your legs.
- Medications: Blood pressure or pain medications can cause swelling.
- High salt intake:You may not be aware that your sodium intake is high. Processed or packaged foods, olives, legumes, and cheese can have high amounts of sodium.
- Pregnancy: As the baby grows, the uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the lower half of your body.
- Thyroid disease: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause edema.
Massage Swollen Feet Ankles And Legs
Massages have been proven to help increase blood circulation and reduce swelling by draining excessive fluid.
Try gently massaging your lower limbs for at least 30-60 minutes daily from the bottom of your feet toward the heart. You can massage with your hands, book massage therapy sessions, or use a foot massager for neuropathy and swollen feet at home.
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