November is National Diabetes Month – a time to look at this common disease caused by elevated glucose (sugar) levels in the blood stream. And when we say “common,” we certainly mean it!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports one out of every ten adult Americans as being diabetic, along with another 84+ million as being “prediabetic” (having blood sugar levels that are elevated, just not quite to the point of full-blown diabetes yet). If you take the time to do the math—of course, you can also trust our calculations! —that means approximately one out of every three adults in our country are either currently affected by the disease, or have the potential to develop it in the near future.
Diabetes causes widespread problems throughout the body, many stemming from systemic damage. Or, to put it more simply, too much sugar is really bad for your health.
Excessive amounts of glucose contribute to impaired function of the immune, nervous, and circulatory systems. As a result of this, issues in the lower limbs—even ones that start out as being fairly minor—can quickly escalate into serious medical complications. Charcot foot and diabetic ulcers are two such complications that increase the risk for amputation and, even more disturbing, can become life-threatening.
We do have some good news, though – a comprehensive diabetic foot care plan can reduce your risk of severe problems developing from diabetes. There are many different facets to diabetic foot care, including protecting your feet with diabetic socks and shoes.
So how exactly do socks and shoes help? Well, proper diabetic footwear can:
Relieve areas of excessive pressure. Too much pressure in concentrated areas can result in ulceration (skin breakdown). Diabetic footwear can redistribute forces in a more natural manner, thereby reducing the risk of issues developing.
Reduce shock and shear. One way to keep diabetic feet safe is to reduce the amount of shock (vertical pressure) and shear (horizontal friction) experienced. Diabetic socks and shoes are designed to reduce these respective forces.
Accommodate, stabilize and support deformities. Many deformities need to be stabilized to both avoid further damage and relieve pain when diabetes is in the picture. We can help to protect the foot by making sure you have the shoes you need.
Limit motion of joints. Controlling the range of motion for certain joints in the foot can help to decrease inflammation, relieve pain, and result in a more stable and functional foot.
Wearing the right kinds of socks and shoes is an important facet of diabetic foot care, but it’s certainly not the only one. You also need to perform a daily foot inspection and make sure you come and see us at the earliest opportunity whenever you find anything out of the ordinary.
For more information on the diabetic foot care services we provide—or to request an appointment with our Bloomington, IL office—simply call (309) 661-9975.