Diabetes and your feet
Diabetes typically occurs when the body doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin is not able to perform its normal functions. Insulin is a substance produced from the pancreas gland that helps process the food we eat and turns it into energy. Diabetes is a serious disease that can affect the entire body – including the feet.
Approximately 25% of those diagnosed with diabetes will develop foot problems – the number one reason for hospital visits among people with diabetes.
How can diabetes hurt my feet?
Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage in the feet, called neuropathy. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. You may not feel a pebble inside your sock that is causing a sore. You may not feel a blister caused by poorly fitted shoes. Foot injuries such as these can cause skin ulcers, which can eventually lead to an amputation. Properly fitted therapeutic shoes and custom inserts can prevent these problems for many people. Keeping your blood glucose (sugar) in good control, taking care of your feet every day and the right pair of therapeutic shoes can help you avoid serious foot problems.
Poor Blood Flow
Circulatory problems due to arterial disease, or changes in the shape of your feet or toes, may cause foot problems. Poor blood flow makes it hard for a sore or infection to heal. This problem is peripheral vascular disease. Smoking when you have diabetes makes vascular problems much worse.
Treatment and Prevention
Extra depth footwear and pressure dispersing insoles made from Plastazote™ play an important role in diabetic foot care. Plastazote™ is a material designed to absorb pressure and prevent the formation of foot ulcers.
If an ulcer is present these inserts can be accommodated to relieve the pressure on the ulcer and allow greater blow flow and healing to occur. These inserts are customized to your foot by heat molding or can be fully customized by taking an impression of your feet.
A Certified Pedorthist will examine and measure your feet and suggest the appropriate footwear and inserts for your condition and lifestyle.
The Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill allows for one pair of extra depth footwear and three pair of Plastazote™ inserts each calendar year. Several other insurance companies also provide this benefit. You can contact our office to see if your insurer provides this
If you have diabetes and certain qualifying foot conditions, you could be eligible for a pair of shoes and shoe inserts to help with your foot health.