What Are The Benefits Of Diabetic Sock And Is It Supportive?

Diabetic 3Anyone with diabetes knows that it can lead to a gamut of other medical issues. Foot ailments are among the most common associated with diabetes. Because diabetes raises blood sugar levels, the risk of foot ulcers increases drastically as does poor circulation, loss of sensation and delayed wound healing. Providing your feet with the proper support and comfort can, and in most cases does, make all the difference for those suffering from diabetic foot problems. Wearing diabetic socks is the easiest and most convenient way to keep your feet healthy and safe.

Diabetic socks are specifically designed to control moisture and as such reduce the risk or infection and bacterial growth. Many socks are also made with anti-microbial materials for added protection. Diabetic socks, like the Physician’s Choice brand, are also made with out seams so they prevent pressure and blistering caused from wrinkles. Proper prevention is key in maintaining healthy feet because diabetes can caused delayed healing and increased foot pain.

The elastic nature of a diabetic sock provides added support for the arch and foot while simultaneously adding compression to prevent swelling. Such support is crucial to maintain good posture and joint health.

People Living With Diabetic Neuropathy Needs Support

You might be surprised to learn how many people are living with Charcot foot. There are no accurate estimates concerning the exact number of people that suffer from the condition, because it is not a “disease”. It is usually a complication of diabetic neuropathy.

There are some 24 million diabetics in the US alone. Of that 24 million, 60-70% will develop neuropathies or nerve damage that can lead to Charcot foot. The American Diabetes Association estimates that only about a half a percent of those people will develop the condition, but that is still equivalent to about 840,000 people.

In most cases, the condition develops after the age of 50 or after the person has had diabetes for a number of years. It can occur in both type I and type II diabetes, but since type II develops later on in life, it is most common in type I, which is sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes.

In order to prevent further damage, it is important to pay close attention to the condition of the feet. People who are living with Charcot foot have reduced sensation in their feet, due to nerve damage. Minor injuries go unnoticed, unless care is taken to check for them. A minor injury can quickly develop into an ulcer or a serious joint fracture. Any redness or swelling should be reported to your doctor.

When an injury occurs, rest and elevation of the feet are very important. When there is swelling, there is increased blood flow to the feet, which washes away minerals and leads to bone loss. Other than skin ulceration, the major risk of the condition is cumulative bone loss that may result in permanent disability.

Diabetic 1Day to day living with Charcot Foot requires the use of deep supportive shoes with soft insoles and rubber out-soles to absorb shock. Supportive socks, arch supports and ankle supports are beneficial as well. Walking around barefoot is not a good idea. Some type of protective and supportive footwear should be worn at all times to help reduce the risk of injury.

In the early stages, if no injury is present, regular physical activity is advised, both to retain flexibility and as an aid in maintaining an appropriate weight. Being overweight puts additional pressure on the joints and increases the risk of disability.

As time goes by, living with Charcot foot may require the use of custom molded shoes with special shock absorbers to allow the patient to walk. Walkers, wheelchairs or crutches are sometimes needed, depending on the severity of the condition.

Some success has been seen with surgical correction to lengthen the Achilles tendon and remove any loose bone from the ankle and graft in additional bone where needed. Surgery is generally considered a last resort, as results vary and recovery times are lengthy. On average, it takes 26 weeks for a patent to be able to wear regular shoes, again.

Getting Family Support To Deal With Diabetes And Manage it

The quality of life and health are greatly increased when those who are diabetic control their blood glucose levels consistently throughout the day. Tight glycemic control can prevent many of the illnesses associated with diabetes such as peripheral neuropathy, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. A good predictor of careful blood glucose monitoring is the Hemoglobin A1C test. This test can measure the amount of glucose that has bound to blood cells over ninety to a one hundred and twenty day period, which is the approximate life of a red blood cell.

As it happens, glucose, once bound to a red blood cell, stays bound to it for the course of the blood cells life. The acceptable level that indicates good glycemic control is 7.0% or less. (1). Levels greater than this indicate that the diabetic individual needs to exert greater control over their blood sugar levels. Many times, diabetics will insist that they are doing a successful job at monitoring their blood glucose levels, until their hemoglobin A1C results come back with results greater than 7.0%.

It is not unusual for diabetics to become frustrated, or overwhelmed with the task of managing their blood glucose, administering insulin and eating a well balanced diet. Those diabetics, who have led a sedentary life style, are over weight, drink and or smoke, are placing their health in jeopardy by not adhering to their blood glucose monitoring regime. Finger sticks two to four times a day are not pleasant. Combine that with the insulin injections, and it is no wonder that many diabetics continue to ignore their medical problem. Also, many diabetics will say that they feel good, so there is no reason to monitor their blood glucose carefully. What the diabetic needs to understand is that although they may feel well, their blood glucose can still be at a level that is physiologically destructive.

Diabetic 4A blood glucose level of 160mg/dl may not make the diabetic notice any physical symptoms, but internally that extra sugar can break down muscle tissue, affect their kidneys and start plaque build up in their arteries by raising their LDL’s (low density lipoproteins). Family, friends and visiting nurses can help the diabetic manage their blood glucose consistently. Those members of the family who buy the groceries should keep healthy foods on hand for snack time such as yogurts, carrots, fruit, nuts, and whole grain cereals. Family members should try to eat the same foods as their diabetic member. Limiting carbonated beverages, cakes, cookies and processed sweets in the household will help the diabetic family member realize that they are important and help them to adhere to a well balanced diet. It is important for the diabetic family member to know that they are not alone.

Friends can help in a similar fashion by suggesting a healthy restaurant when dinning out, such as Mediterranean or sea food cuisine. The visiting nurse can help by meeting with the diabetic client and the rest of the family, offering praise, support and knowledge. Praise and encouragement from the nurse can help renew the clients hope and the family’s commitment to the health of their loved one. The visiting nurse can bring new knowledge about treatments and tests, verify that the client is using the equipment properly and assess the injection sites. They can also bring supplies to the home, such as syringes, alcohol wipes and brochures.

Diabetic support groups are also very helpful. Family members should encourage their loved one to attend and accompany them. The more knowledgeable a family is about their loved ones illness the better they will be at helping them manage their condition successfully.

Family members need to encourage their diabetic loved one to express their feelings. Let them weep, cry, yell and or scream. Give them the freedom to express their emotions in an accepting and loving environment. Whether the diabetic is six or sixty, diabetes can make one feel all alone, and this can lead to apathy towards their illness. Family and friends can play a crucial role in helping the diabetic manage their blood sugar so that they can live a long, healthy and happy life.