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Care for the Diabetic Foot Naturally and Holistically

Sunday, January 25, 2009 by: Jo Hartley
Tags: diabetes, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) According to recent statistics, diabetes is the fastest growing illness in the US and Americans are at risk for developing this disease more now than ever before. Diabetes prevention by improving one's diet and incorporating exercise into daily routine is very important. For those who already have developed diabetes, however, there are important natural ways to manage the illness. Caring for the diabetic foot, for example, is an extremely important part of the diabetic's daily care and this can be achieved naturally and holistically.

It is very important for the diabetic to keep his/her glucose levels in control. Leading a healthy lifestyle and eliminating processed and refined sugars is a very effective way to both delay and even prevent common foot problems. These lifestyle choices will also help to keep eye and kidney problems under control as well.

Wash the feet in warm (not hot) water. Do not soak the feet because this can cause the skin to dry and crack and this can lead to ulcers or sores. Before bathing, test the water temperature to make sure it is not too hot. The water temperature should be about 90 to 95 F. After bathing, dry the feet thoroughly. Instead of rubbing the feet dry, gently pat the feet dry with a soft towel. Always dry thoroughly between the toes so as to avoid athlete's foot.

After bathing, smooth any corns and calluses with a pumice stone. A pumice stone is a rock that is used as a tool to smooth the skin. Immediately after bathing the skin is softer and smoothing with a pumice stone will be best done at this time. Rub gently and in only one direction.
Never cut corns or calluses or use liquid corn and callus removers. If corns and calluses are an issue, consult a doctor or podiatrist for recommendations.

Trim toenails with clean clippers only after feet have been washed and dried thoroughly. Toenails should be carefully cut straight across and smoothed with a nail file. Be careful not to cut into the corners of the toenail because this can create sores that lead to infection and even possibly amputation. If toenails are thick, yellowed, or brittle it may be best to have a podiatrist cut them.
It is important to protect the diabetic feet from extreme hot and cold because blood circulation may be decreased. If this is the case, the diabetic may not be able to sense hot or cold adequately.

How to Protect the Diabetic Foot:

-Always wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement
-Protect the top of the feet from sunburn
-Keep feet protected from radiators and open fires
-Never place hot water bottles or heating pads on feet
-Wear socks in bed if feet get cold
-Check feet often in cold weather to make sure there is no frostbite

Infection in the diabetic foot starts with a simple tiny cut, sore, or ingrown toenail. If something small like this is allowed to grow it can eventually lead to the amputation of a toe, foot, or even leg. This is completely avoidable, though, if the feet are properly cared for.
Diabetics often experience nerve damage and loss of feeling in their feet. This is why they may not feel a small sore or blister until it gets infected. They may not feel the rubbing of poorly fitting shoes that can cause blisters.

Diabetics need to find a convenient time to check their feet daily. Evening before bed may be the best time. If it is difficult to bend over and inspect the feet carefully, using a hand mirror may help. Asking a family member for help is another option.

If a cut, bruise, sore, or blister is detected that does not begin to heal after one day, consult a doctor.

The diabetic should consider wearing specially fitted shoes that are designed for diabetic feet because poor-fitting shoes can cause persistent rubbing on the sides of the feet and ulcers may form because of this. It is also important to have adequate ventilation in the shoe to facilitate proper body cooling and to minimize the hot, dampness that can contribute to foot fungus and bacteria.

A good quality diabetic shoe is perhaps the best way that the diabetic can preserve the health of their feet naturally. The prevention of foot problems is the most important thing because small problems often lead to more serious foot problems. Approximately 60,000 diabetics undergo foot amputations every year in the US. If more diabetics wore diabetic footwear, it is estimated that approximately 50,000 of those amputations would be prevented.

Source: http://www.healthynewage.com/diabetic-footca...

About the author

Jo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
http://winemaiden.com - Simply Abundant Living

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