Diabetes and Foot Problems
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a patient's blood sugar level to become too high. In the UK, diabetes affects approximately 2.9 million people. There are also thought to be around 850,000 sufferers with undiagnosed diabetes.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus: Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes.
What distinguishes the different types of Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is when no insulin is produced at all, because the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed. Type 1 affects around 10% of all adults with diabetes and is treated with daily insulin injections.
Type 2 diabetes is when the body either does not produce enough insulin, or the insulin it produces does not work as well as it should (insulin resistance). Usually occurring in people over the age of 40, this type of diabetes is predominantly treated with lifestyle changes such as following a healthy balanced diet, increasing physical activity and losing weight when necessary.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) can occur during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This type of diabetes usually occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin for the body's needs.
How does diabetes affect your feet?
Those who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which drastically reduces the blood flow through your arteries and can affect the arteries which supply blood to the legs. Diabetes patients are therefore more likely to suffer from foot-related problems.
Neuropathy may also be a issue for diabetes sufferers. Neuropathy relates to the damage caused to the peripheral nerves and can affect sensory, motor or autonomic nerves and, at worst, may affect all three.
In turn, any of these high risk factors can lead to further foot problems including: arched foot, clawing of toes and Charcot foot.
How can wide fitting footwear help?
Diabetes really can have an impact on your foot health, therefore, doing everything you can to look after your feet should be a number one priority. Poor circulation, numbness and the reduction of sensation in the feet are just some of the conditions that diabetes causes.
The key to good foot health is determining how to spot the signs of foot related-diabetes problems and ensuring that you seek medical advice straight away. If left untreated, these foot problems can lead to foot ulcers and potentially, in the worst case scenario, the need for amputation.
Making sure that you have the correct fitting footwear is very important for people who suffer from diabetes because poor fitting shoes, whether too loose or too tight, can cause rubbing. Not only will this be very painful for diabetes sufferers, but chaffing could lead to further complications.
Our shoes have been designed to be internally, as smooth as possible. With few internal seams and styles with seam-free toe boxes, our shoes are useful for those people suffering from diabetes-related foot problems, as they are available in different widths and depths, ensuring a comfortable fit. Where seams do exist, we have tried to place them in locations designed to reduce the possibility of rubbing. The Wider Fit Shoe Store at Bournemouth Footwear really do want you to have the perfect fit and the most comfortable shoes in order to reduce any pain that you may be suffering.
Visit us or visit a qualified podiatrist who will examine your feet and give you expert advice about the most suitable footwear for you.
Disclaimer: This information is of a general nature and should not be taken as a diagnosis. All questions and concerns should be directed to your Doctor, Podiatrist or other health advisor.