Certified diabetes educator reveals the benefits of wearing diabetes socks
If you have diabetes, you likely already know to monitor your blood sugar levels. But do you also know how to watch your feet?
“Observe your feet daily.”
These are some of the first things that Tina Canada, RN, a certified diabetes educator with OSF HealthCare, informs individuals who seek advice on their diabetes diagnosis.
Numerous diabetic symptoms can be diagnosed through subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, changes in foot health.
Therefore, if you suspect or have been diagnosed with diabetes, familiarize yourself with your feet.
Why do we have feet?
For diabetics, the foot is a window to their overall health. Diabetes can result in peripheral neuropathy, which frequently affects the feet.
Diabetes is characterized by insufficient insulin production, a key hormone that converts sugar into energy. When the body does not produce enough insulin, it is more difficult for sugar to enter cells and produce energy. That sugar accumulates in the blood.
With diabetes, the extra sugar in the blood impedes the circulation of blood throughout the entire body. Without appropriate circulation, the nerve lining deteriorates. This occurs most often in the feet because the body must pump blood all the way down to the tips of our toes and then return it to the heart.
Nerve injury to the foot can result in a variety of complications:
Finding the perfect match
Introducing diabetic socks.
Tina said that high-quality socks increase circulation, avoid foot discomfort, and reduce friction.
Socks intended for people with diabetes have fewer seams. This is the case for several reasons. Fewer seams result in less friction. Avoid friction, as it can produce pressure points and increase the risk of sores or blisters. Blood can circulate more freely within the body when there is less friction.
People with diabetes must be extremely vigilant when it comes to keeping their feet dry, as they are more likely to acquire foot wound infections. A damp foot is an ideal environment for germs to flourish and create an infection in a wound.
Socks designed for diabetics are manufactured from moisture-wicking materials that keep the feet dry. This may consist of wool, cotton, or a synthetic combination.
According to Tina, what is the most vital factor? “Socks that suit you perfectly.”
Tina stated, “Socks that are overly tight will inhibit circulation.”
Conversely, loose socks are more prone to shift and create friction.
People with diabetes who have impaired circulation and develop edema in their feet or legs should prioritize fitness. In such a circumstance, compression socks may be suggested. These tight-fitting socks enhance blood circulation.
Compression socks should not be so restrictive as to impede blood flow. However, because they are constructed with a bit more elasticity than regular socks, compression socks promote blood flow by gently compressing the leg.
Pay attention to your feet
Many diabetics do not require compression socks. However, if they are recommended, putting them on before even getting out of bed in the morning is crucial.
“When your legs are lifted, use compression socks because blood has already traveled down your legs.”
Once you are up and moving, it becomes more difficult for your body to flow blood to and from your feet.
Once you’ve donned your socks, keep them on all day.
Tina suggests purchasing a telescoping mirror from a nearby pharmacy or hardware shop. It will cost you simply a few dollars. Use the mirror frequently to examine the soles of your feet. Thus, you will become acquainted with your feet. If any changes occur, you will be prepared to act.
Finally, avoid using really hot water when washing your feet. Daily moisturize with lotion.
Tina advised, “Apply lotion to the top and bottom of the feet, but not in between the toes.”
This can cause moisture to become trapped in cracks and crevices, which is undesirable.
If you have diabetes but are unfamiliar with your feet, familiarize yourself with them and your sock options.