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How Important Are Shoes for Diabetics?

choosing comfortable shoes

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  • Aside from the maintenance of their blood sugar, if you’re diabetic you need to check your feet daily for possible injuries. This is because poorly regulated glucose levels in the body exposes you to a higher risk of nerve and tissue damage
  • Gangrene is one of the severe complications of diabetes. It is the necrosis, or widespread cell death, in one area of the body caused by insufficient oxygen supply

Aside from maintaining prope blood sugar levels, diabetic patients also need to check their feet daily for possible injuries. This is because poorly regulated glucose levels in the body expose diabetics to a higher risk of nerve and tissue damage.1

This is one of the reasons why it is essential for you to wear comfortable shoes at all times if you’re diabetic. This not only will lessen the risk of injury, but also promote proper blood circulation in your feet.

Possible Foot Injuries Related to Diabetes

One of the most common foot injuries related to diabetes is foot ulceration, which may be caused by the loss of sensation in the feet or even something as simple as wearing poor-fitting shoes.2 Diabetics who fail to wear comfortable shoes are more prone to this, along with corns and wounds.

If not taken care of, these wounds may get infected and cause severe problems. Some of the foot injuries that diabetic people can be prone to are:

  • BunionsThis is a deformity where a bump develops on the outer edge of the toe joint. This may cause patients to experience foot pain and walking difficulties.3
  • Corns — These are cone-shaped masses of dead skin on areas of the foot that are constantly exposed to friction and pressure. Cutting out corns or calluses on your own should be avoided, as this can cause infections and other serious consequences.4
  • Hammertoes — This refers to the abnormal bending and curling of one or multiple toes. In common cases, this happens in either the second or third toe. Diabetics with hammertoes have a higher chance of suffering from ulcerations and infections.5
  • Gangrene — Gangrene is one of the severe complications of diabetes. It is the necrosis, or widespread cell death, in one area of the body caused by insufficient oxygen supply. If the gangrene is severe, amputation may be necessary to save the leg or the foot.6

Diabetes may also cause peripheral neuropathy, a condition where nerves are damaged because of high blood sugar. This neuropathy may affect the foot by limiting sensation in the feet. This may lead to foot injuries remaining undetected until permanent damage is already in place.7

What Are Diabetic Shoes?

Diabetic shoes are special shoes that focus on providing the feet with enough space and comfort to significantly lower the risk for foot injuries. They are sometimes called “sugar shoes.”8 Some of the types  of diabetic shoes include the following:

  • Extra-depth shoes or in-depth shoes — This type of shoes has deeper soles than ordinary shoes. The extra depth helps you make additional room for your feet or for specially made insoles that minimize shoe-foot contact. These also have shock-absorbing soles and are lightweight.9
  • Healing shoes or off-loading diabetic shoes — Healing shoes are usually worn after surgery or ulcer treatment. They promote healing by providing enough space for wound or ulcer dressings.10
  • Custom-made shoes — Custom-made shoes are made exclusively for your feet through a cast or a mold. This makes it easier for patients to accommodate their foot injuries without the risk of making them worse.11

Keep in mind that you have to seek a health professional if you see breaks in the skin, discharge or an abnormal discoloration in your foot. This will ensure that you prevent serious complications which, if left untreated, may lead to widespread cell death.12

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