How Does Diabetes Affect Your Foot? Can Foot Massagers Help?
Diabetes has affected more individuals than accidents or other deadly diseases. As per the WHO, in 2019, about 1.5 million individuals globally died post-diagnosis with diabetes. Moreover, estimation confirms that the global count of people currently living with this disease is at the 463 million mark. These numbers are projected to rise by 2045 reaching the 700 million mark.
When diabetes is left unchecked, it can initiate nerve damage causing poor circulation. The worst affected parts of our body are the feet. Diabetics have to deal with blisters, foot ulcers, foot infections, and even pain. While you can get some relief with the best foot massager, the solution is to keep the sugar levels in check.
Can Diabetes Damage Your Foot?
Without the right foot roller massager or proper medications, your foot condition might end up worsening. While most diabetics don't develop serious foot complications, it is best to follow medical protocol. Diabetes, when left unchecked for long, can lead to a series of health issues. One might also need foot amputation as a last resort.
Apart from medical help, self-care is an important move for diabetics. So, make sure you consult your doctor and get approval to bring home the best foot massager.
But, how does diabetes damage your foot?
Diabetes is caused due to Type-I diabetes or insulin deficiency or Type-II diabetes, or insulin resistance. Now, insulin is a critical hormone required by your body for sugar absorption into the cells of your blood. This is then used for energy. If this process doesn't function properly, the sugar continues to circulate throughout the blood. It can cause health problems that can also injure your feet.
A good choice for risk mitigation and increasing circulation is to use a foot massager for diabetics.
Today, we will narrow down the foot problems ailing people with poorly or unmanaged diabetes. We will also discuss the best ways to prevent & manage these negative effects.
Diabetic Foot Problems
If you, your family member, colleague, or a friend has diabetes, these foot problems can trouble them:
1. Diabetic Neuropathy:
Diabetics can suffer from PVD or Peripheral Vascular Disease. This problem especially affects the ones that don't take their prescribed medications. It can also affect the patients having problems controlling their blood sugar. This disease affects patients when the fatty deposits start narrowing their blood vessels. Eventually, there is a reduction in blood circulation.
This is where a foot massager for diabetics can be helpful. When used the right way, it can help enhance the blood circulation in your foot. When left unchecked, reduced circulation can cause infection, pain, and even wounds with a slower healing rate.
With time, PVD can lead to nerve damage that eventually causes numbness. It can be difficult for people to sense their feet in extreme conditions. A high level of sugar in the blood can also damage your nervous system hindering the channeling of signals.
It can also affect one's ability to feel soreness, irritation, or feet infection. Diabetics might also fail to notice when the feet are rubbing against something abrasive. This lack of feet sensation can lead to cuts, blisters, and sores with delayed healing.
Diabetics can suffer from blisters due to multiple reasons. The first is diabetic neuropathy, which makes it difficult to understand which shoe fits them. This happens due to a lack of sensations. This can also change your movement pattern leading to enhanced blister risks.
If you have blisters in your feet, it is better to consult with a doctor before using the best foot massager. To avoid the onset of blisters, use a good foot roller massager to increase sensation. People dealing with diabetes can also be diagnosed with Bullous diabeticorum. This is the spontaneous onset of blisters. However, no proven reason is known in the medical world for the appearance of blisters.
These blisters, when left unchecked, can cause pain and become infected. When left unchecked, this can spread further in the body.
3. Diabetic Ulcer:
As per statistics, about 7 percent of diabetics suffering from PVD develop foot ulcers per year. This is a merger of nerve damage and poor circulation. So, one might not notice their ulcers until the condition has worsened to a severe status. Moreover, weak circulation might slow down the healing process.
When left untreated, these ulcers can infect the foot and damage it eventually. Ulcers can make walking or even move very painful. Socks and shoes can also intensify the symptoms of an ulcer. To help ensure that your foot has increased circulation, a foot massager for diabetics can be helpful.
4. Diabetic Calluses:
When you avoid taking care of your feet, the ankle portion starts to harden. For normal people, this can be taken care of with a pedicure session. However, for diabetics, things aren't as easy. This hard skin becomes very thick in people with diabetes. They are known as calluses.
Calluses are thickened skin in the foot that is hard to touch. The presence of large calluses can affect the way you walk or the fit of your shoes. The main problem is that they can lead to an increased risk of infections and ulcers.
This is why it is important to care for your feet and keep them as clean as possible. You need to keep the feet as clean as possible to keep the calluses away. Additionally, a foot massager for diabetics can help keep the skin soft. This will prevent the formation of calluses.
5. Foot Infections:
When left unchecked, diabetic ulcers have the potential for infection. This is especially evident if you don't keep it clean or get it treated by a podiatrist. When ignored, the infection might spread throughout your bloodstream. It can damage your organs and even endanger your life.
So, keeping your blood sugar in check is important. Diabetic foot issues can transverse into gangrene as well. This causes tissue death & might require amputation of the affected part. To prevent the onset of such foot infections, it is important to practice the use of the best foot massager. This can help prevent any damage to the foot.
Foot infection has the potential to damage the interior of your foot, including the bones as well. Poor blood circulation can also affect your feet's underlying structures. So, you might notice a change in the foot shape which induces more pain & difficulty walking.
In medical terms, it is known as Charcot's foot. This can enhance the possibility of ulcer development.
6. Amputational Requirements:
Although this is a rare occurrence, unchecked diabetes might cause severe infection needing amputation. Doctors might decide on amputation if the infection has been spreading unchecked. This is done to minimize the damage to adjoining areas like the legs. Amputation involves the removal of the infected body parts like the foot, toe, or even a major portion of one's leg.
As per statistics, diabetes is one of the major reasons for amputations. A study conducted in 2020 estimated that diabetes can be the reason for 25 to 90 percent of yearly amputations.
Severe and unchecked diabetes can be a life-threatening issue. This is especially dangerous if the infection spreads. Foot issues that are severe enough can require amputation and even death. If the infection isn't checked in time, it could also cause death due to organ failure.
As per a study in 2021, the survival rate for 5 years post foot amputation is a mere 43 percent.
With so many concerns affecting diabetics, it is important to focus on managing them better. A necessary step to managing diabetic foot issues is the use of the best foot massager for diabetics. This will help enhance the blood circulation and hence prevent any infections or PVD.
Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Issues
The symptoms of foot problems for diabetics can vary depending on the individual. It also depends on the lifestyle of the person.
Generally, the symptoms of diabetic foot issues include:
- Tingling or numbness
- Loss of sensation
- Blisters and other wounds with no pain
- Red streaks
- Painful tingling
- Skin discoloration & temperature changes
- Wounds without or with drainage
- Sock staining
If the infection is kept unchecked, the diabetic individual might experience the symptoms below:
- Feeling sick
- Uncontrolled blood sugar
For someone who is experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical help immediately.
Foot Issues and Complications
PVD and diabetic neuropathy are both serious conditions. This must be addressed by a doctor immediately. Both can cause complications with serious and prevalent effects such as:
- Foot deformity
- Foot wounds or ulcers that don't heal
- Gangrene (Infection caused due to tissue death)
- Charcot foot (It can alter the feet's shape or break due to fragility)
- Infections in the bone or skin
- Damage to adjoining structures like the legs
If the infection has just begun, seeking a doctor's help can reverse the complications. However, if it has proceeded to become gangrene, it might cause permanent changes to the physical structure.
How Does A Foot Massager Help?
Your first move if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, is to get in touch with your doctor. Next, self-care is also important when dealing with the repercussions of a diabetic foot. Proper self-care involves following a regulated diet and hygiene maintenance. Apart from the medications suggested by your doctor, you can also indulge in self-care like:
- Proper sanitization of the foot
- Regular cleaning
- Pedicure which is done by professional foot care providers
- Regular massage
Now, keep in mind that diabetics should refrain from using massagers that are battery operated. The goal is to enhance blood circulation. However, we don't want to affect the blood vessels that are already affected. Blood vessels become fragile and harden due to high blood sugar levels. So, using a battery-operated massager might be too harsh on the blood vessels in the foot.
So, it is important to opt for a foot roller massager that isn't battery operated. These rollers work on your foot's natural alignment and require manual operation. Additionally, you can use high-quality foot cream to keep the skin soft and supple. This will help prevent the formation of calluses.
If you ever notice these issues and symptoms, you need to seek medical attention immediately:
- Ankle or foot swelling
- Foot skin color change
- Temperature change in the foot
- Tingling or pain in the ankles or feet
- Persistent feet sores
- Ingrown toenails
- Cracked or dry heel skin
- Athlete's foot/fungal infections
Tips For Diabetic Foot Care
In order to prevent foot issues, it is important to follow these protocols. Keeping your feet healthy when suffering from diabetes is crucial. You need to be careful about your feet's hygiene. Apart from using the best foot massager for diabetics, you need to practice these tips:
- Check Your Feet Daily:
When suffering from diabetic neuropathy, it is important to examine your feet on a daily basis. This will help you keep track of any injuries or changes.
- Do Things To Promote Blood Circulation:
Apart from doing basic exercises like wiggling the toes or exercising, you can also use a foot roller massager. This action promotes healthy blood flow to your feet.
- Wear Supportive Socks and Shoes:
To prevent any injuries or infections, you need to protect your feet with shoes & socks. Your podiatrist might recommend special socks and shoes that prevent deformities.
Apart from this, you also need to trim your nails regularly. This will help prevent inward nail growth, which can be a causal factor for infection. Always remember to take care of bunions and corns. Keeping your feet away from temperature extremities is also important for people suffering from diabetes. Most of all, it is important to control your blood sugar levels.
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