Going barefoot is typically associated with being relaxed and carefree, either while moving around the house, sitting on the front porch, or frolicking on a sandy beach. But for diabetes patients who have experienced a loss of sensation or other changes in the feet as a result of peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease or other complications, going without shoes poses a surprising amount of risk.
The diminished sensation makes it harder to detect scrapes, calluses, burns from hot pavement or ulcers that, if unnoticed or left untreated, can result in serious complications. Even a small
scrape or a pebble can puncture the skin and cause serious infections, or even amputation. Of the 16 million Americans with diabetes, 25 percent will develop foot problems related to the
THE BENEFITS OF PROPERLY FIT SHOES
Fortunately, this frightening — and surprisingly common — scenario can be prevented in many cases by monitoring one’s health and by finding the proper footwear. Because neuropathy and
circulation problems can lead to changes in the size and shape of the feet, it’s important to find shoes that fit properly. Shoes that are too big or small can cause blisters or calluses that would
be preventable with a better fit. Finding shoes that fit properly keeps patients from experiencing pain or injury related to poor circulation, while also helping take the pressure off any sores or ulcers that may have developed. Those who think they might be developing foot conditions or discomfort related to diabetes should see their doctor as soon as possible to find the best treatment options.
IMPORTANT STEPS TO TAKE:
In addition to seeing your primary care physician, regularly visiting your podiatrist, and finding proper footwear on an annual basis, patients with diabetes are encouraged to take the following steps as well:
• Never go barefoot, as this might expose you to injury that you might not be able to feel.
• Check your shoes and shake them out before putting them on.
• Have your toenails trimmed each week.
• Keep your feet moisturized, and treat any calluses or corns.
• Maintain a healthy diet and cholesterol levels.
• Avoid smoking, and drink alcohol in moderation, depending on the advice of your doctor.
iSTEP TECHNOLOGY HELPS FIT SHOES PERFECTLY
The Certified Pedorthists at Comfort Plus Shoes and Footcare have decades of experience in helping diabetic patients find the right footwear and orthotics that fit their prescription. When fitting customers, Comfort Plus utilizes iStep, a patented digital foot scanning system that analyzes your feet and determines pressure points to create a foot “map.” The map can then be used to help fit a shoe perfectly suited to the wearer, resulting in oneof-a-kind comfort, support and protection from injury. Comfort Plus can also help diabetes patients identify what kind of benefits might be available to them through Medicare, with more information and forms available on their website, comfortPlusshoes.com.
YOUR EXPERTS IN FOOT CARE
To browse the selection or talk to one of their experienced professionals, visit Comfort Plus Shoes and Footcare at 11715 Roe Avenue near Hen House in the Camelot Court shopping center, or give them a call at (913) 451-4494. For more information about diabetes health, visit the American Diabetes Association online at diabetes.org.