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Diabetes and your feet
Neuropathy is most common with people with diabetes, however you can have neuropathy without having diabetes.

Neuropathy describes the pathological changes of the peripheral nerves especially to the lower extremities. Neuropothy is most common in people with diabetes but can occur in others. This leaves the feet insensitive to pain. Without this warning signal, the feet are in danger of cuts, blisters, or thickened calluses that can lead to ulcers. This is where the danger of infection and amputations lies.

The big risk of amputation starts with the foot becoming insensitive. Sugar covers the nerve endings in the feet the nerves die causing a lack of feeling. Thus if a shoe is too tight or rubs the patient cannot feel the pressure. As diabetes progresses the skin becomes weaker and a miss-fitted shoe can cause a sore to develop. Because of a lack of sensation the patient cannot tell there is a sore. Shoes house a nasty environment; they are dark, hot, and wet. The sore then becomes an ulcer and it is very likely to get infected because of the nasty environment. Once the infection gets to a bone then amputation(s) are required. This is why Medicare and insurance companies pay for shoes and orthotics because they prevent amputations.

15% of all people with neuropathic feet will develop foot ulcers that often become infected. Complications from infections may lead to amputations.

80% of all amputations can be prevented with foot care and properly fitted shoes.

Who to see for help:
Primary physician
Diabetic educator
Certified pedorthist
Neuropathy support groups
A simple daily routine will lessen the possibility of foot ulcers and amputations.
Daily foot care is quick and easy:
Wash and dry your feet thoroughly including between your toes every day.
Inspect your feet every morning and evening. If you have trouble seeing the bottom of your feet, put a mirror on the floor near your bed, or have someone else check your feet. Look for cuts, blisters, or redness. If there are any openings or blood under the skin surface, see your physician immediately.
Calluses are a warning sign that an excessive amount of pressure is being put upon that area of your foot. The majority of ulcers begin as a callus. The most common sites are the hallux (great toe), or metatarsal heads (ball of the foot). Consult with a pedorthist to find ways to reduce this pressure.
Wear white socks as much as possible and avoid socks with large seams. Socks with seams can be worn inside out.
Wear shoes with lots of room. Tight shoes can cause pressure that can lead to an ulcer. Have a certified pedorthest check the fit of your shoes. Look for foreign objects before putting your shoes on.
When breaking in new shoes wear them 1 hour 1st day and increase by 1 hour each day there after. Take your shoes and socks and look for any places that rub or make your skin red. Let us know if you have any concerns.
The do not s:

Do not smoke. Smoking constricts small blood vessels and decreases blood flow.
Do not drink alcohol in excess.
Do not go barefoot.
Do not soak your feet.
Do not use adhesive tape directly on skin.
Do not wear shoes without socks. Socks are the first barrier for the feet. Therapeutic socks are available that help protect your feet.
Do not wear thongs.
Do not sleep with your ankles crossed.
Do not cut calluses or corns. Have foot care specialists take care of them.
Do not trim your own toe nails. See a podiatrist or pedicurist.
Do not walk barefoot on hot surfaces like sand or concrete around pools.
Do not wear slip on shoes.

Do: Great things for your feet! Why settle for good feet when you can have great feet at Sole Control in St. Louis, MO?

Take a daily walk. Walking increases the blood flow to your feet, which lessens the risk of ulcers and infections. However if you have an open ulcer, rest.
Stretch your calf muscles twice a day. Stretching increases the circulation to your feet and feels good too!
Touch both of your feet, if one feels HOT , see your physician immediately. This could be a sign of infection or broken bones.
For more information about diabetes click
Sole Control shoes and orthotics for the diabetic feet in St. Louis, MO.
Control your Sole at Sole Control in St. Louis, MO
9120 Watson Road, Suite 200
Crestwood, MO 63126
webmaster Michael Lukowsky