Even though Ellen and James White didn’t know about peripheral neuropathy in diabetic feet, they did seem to have some insight about the importance of keeping one’s feet healthy!
BASIC DIABETIC FOOT CARE
Since it is so very important for people with diabetes to exercise by walking (as much as they can), it is also extremely important to take special care of your feet. Here is a basic list of foot care essential guidelines. Dr. Bernstein says, “The incidence of limb-threatening ulcerations in diabetics is very high, affecting approximately one in six to seven patients. Nonhealing ‘diabetic’ ulcers are the major cause of leg, foot, and toe amputations in this country, after traumatic injuries such as those occurring in motor vehicle accidents. These ulcerations do not occur spontaneously; they are always preceded by gradual or sudden injury to the skin by some external factor. Preventing such injuries can prevent their sad consequences.”
Foot Care for Diabetics
from Dr. Bernstein’s book “Diabetes Solution”
© 2007 by Richard K. Bernstein, M.D.
Not secure | http://www.diabetes-book.com/foot-care-diabetics/
It’s also vital that you wear shoes that are well-fitting and provide adequate support for all parts of your feet, especially while walking. Note that your shoes may change sizes as you gain weight or lose weight. Wear soft, absorbent socks and change them daily.
Whether you are a man or woman, if you are diabetic you need to think seriously before having a pedicure. It’s even more serious if you have peripheral neuropathy in your feet and have lost sensations in your feet. Your feet could get injured without you even knowing about it. The best advice is to “contact your physician for a referral to a podiatrist or other specialist who is medically trained to care for your feet.” I am blessed to have a BFF who is such a specialist! You can view her website at https://advancednailtechnology.com/ for a quick look at what she is able to do.
If you are not fortunate enough to have someone like Paula care for your feet, just do your best at the most reputable nail salon you can find. Never allow the technician to cut your cuticles or use any sharp instruments on your skin or under your toenails. Never use or allow anyone else to use a pumice stone on your feet. Always go to a salon that uses disposable plastic liners in their soaking spa and that also disinfects the spa between customers.
Details are listed in https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4937-pedicure-safety-tips-for-people-with-diabetes.
ULCERS & OTHER COMPLICATIONS
It is estimated that as many as 25% of people with diabetes develop a foot ulcer at some point in their lives, and ulcer risk tends to increase with age. The major contributing factor to this risk is loss of sensation in the feet, usually caused by peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet and legs. This common complication can change or reduce the sensation of pain, heat, and cold in the feet. For example, if someone with neuropathy were to walk on hot pavement, he might not be able to feel the heat, so there would be an increased likelihood of burns or blisters—which, in turn, could easily go unnoticed and untreated due to the lack of sensation.
Heel pain is another foot condition that is very common in diabetic patients. Many people with diabetes are also overweight, which creates an increased risk for the development of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot condition characterized by sharp, stabbing heel pain that typically occurs when a person gets out of bed in the morning or stands up after sitting for a long period of time. While the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is usually described as a shooting pain, the condition can also cause some swelling in the heel.
References to plantar fasciitis can be found at https://adventistvegetariandiabetics.wordpress.com/related-issues/other-medicalhealth-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/.
Can peripheral neuropathy be reversed?
The good news is, yes, peripheral neuropathy CAN be reversed! Alpha-lipoic acid seems to delay or reverse peripheral diabetic neuropathy through its multiple antioxidant properties. But the most important thing you can do for your feet is to manage/control/reverse your diabetes with your dietary approach that lowers your blood glucose and insulin levels and lowers your A1C.
More references to various aspects of foot care can be found at https://adventistvegetariandiabetics.wordpress.com/diabetes-basics/foot-care/.