Diabetic Foot Care is Critical to Avoid Serious Problems

Although it is becoming so widespread that many Americans are taking it for granted, there is ample medical evidence to prove that diabetes is a very serious and potentially deadly disease which is affecting one out of every twenty people… and the number is rising daily. Diabetes is no laughing matter as our lifestyle which is increasingly centered on consuming massive quantities of empty calories while sitting on our ever-expanding netherregions is not-so-slowly killing us.

Foot care is required in Type 1 & 2 Diabetes

I was recently interviewed for an article in Northwest Indiana’s The Times newspaper entitled Importance Of Foot Care For Diabetics: Regular Checks Are Vital For Healthy Living, where I discussed the necessity for all diabetics to take meticulous care of their feet.

Diabetes is classified into two types:

  • Type 1: This is the diabetes that is generally inherited and surfaces at an early age. Most sufferers of Type 1 diabetes require continual insulin injections and there is no practical cure.
  • Type 2: This is the diabetes that is developed in adult life, almost always in part from overeating and making poor food choices. This diabetes type can be  delayed or in some cases, reversed through weight loss and proper diet.

Diabetes disrupts blood flow through your body

Diabetics suffer from disruption of their circulation system which affects many parts of the body such as the kidneys and eyes, and in many cases the foot. About one quarter of all diabetics will develop problems with their feet, primarily through diabetic neuropathy which can cause severe numbness to the point where the patient will no longer be able to feel heat, cold, or pain. In my practice I have actually pulled out sharp objects from the feet of diabetics which they didn’t even know were there! Unless you’re a professional firewalker or a fakir who walks on a bed of nails, the last thing you want is to have your feet this immune to pain!

Tips to avoid diabetic foot problems

The best way to ensure that you don’t have problems with your feet is to adhere religiously to the treatment regimen administered by your physician to keep your blood sugar levels within acceptable parameters, maintain a healthy low fat diet, and it’s also a good idea to follow these tips:

  • Don’t cross your legs for extended periods of time
  • Keep your feet away from extreme cold or hot conditions
  • Don’t wear socks or garters which restrict your legs to the point where blood flow to your feet is minimized
  • Use a quality moisturizer to avoid the skin on your foot from drying out and cracking
  • Switch up your exercise routine to activities that are fairly gentle on your feet, such as swimming or prone exercises
  • If you’re smoking stop now

Check your feet daily with a mirror

Furthermore, it is a good practice for diabetics to check their feet once a day with a mirror to ensure that there aren’t any cuts, sores, blisters, or bruises that they could not ordinarily see. At the first sign of problems “run don’t walk” to your nearest podiatrist to have your feet checked and treated before the new, small problem turns into a crisis which may require an amputation! Your feet are precious and you need both of them, so don’t jeopardize their health… or very existence!

How Pregnancy Leads to Fallen Arches

If you’ve discovered you have fallen arches following pregnancy, you’re not alone. A new study appearing in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation concluded that fallen arches are essentially a given following pregnancy. While your first pregnancy might produce the most drastic changes in arch height and solidity, each subsequent birth will have an impact on arches. Women (who already face higher risks for musculoskeletal disorders) should know the facts about postpartum foot conditions in order to avoid discomfort and reduced mobility.

Seeing the Proof

Researchers noticed a slackness in the arches while women were carrying children. This softening leads to the eventual reduction in the height of arches, which are in essence tendons grouping together for support. Once the height and slope disappears, you are said to be flat-footed (no longer a reference to a police officer known for pounding the pavement). Foot pain and joint pain can result, meaning you will find yourself searching for relief following pregnancy, a time typically difficult enough to handle.

There Are Solutions

Finding yourself with fallen arches following childbirth is not the end of the world. Though research aimed at reducing the amount of height lost during pregnancy is being conducted, the best approach now is reacting to the damage at hand. Your podiatrist will be able to affirm if you indeed have fallen arches. Once the condition is confirmed, podiatrists could recommend whether any treatment is necessary. Treatments may include exercises, physical therapy, medication or mechanical support. If these treatments do not work, surgery is a possibility that may be explored.

A Study of Great Relevance

The research team behind this study clearly wanted to highlight health issues women face following pregnancy. Getting back into a sound physical condition is an important part of the recovery process. Ask your podiatrist how to approach this issue of fallen arches, which almost definitely will come into play. Whether orthotic devices do the trick or another remedy is suggested, you are bound to feel better and be able to approach your activities with your full strength behind you. After all, with youngsters soon to be on the loose at home, you’ll need to be chasing after them at your fastest foot speed!

Source:  SegalNA, Boyer ER, Teran-Yengle P, GlassNA,HillstromHJ, Yack HJ: Pregnancy leads to lasting changes in foot structure. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2012;91:00Y00.

Walking Benefits

Are you feeling those hunger pangs, or craving chocolate? Don’t you wish that there was some way to stop feeling famished? There is! Go for a walk!

Recent clinical research is proving that walking not only does not increase appetite, but in some cases can even diminish your overall hunger while keeping you feeling full! The old wives tale that you get hungrier after a walk is 100% wrong! This factor is of specific interest to people who have diabetes as well as those interested in weight-loss. A University of Pittsburgh research study (1) found that hunger and eating was not affected by walking, suggesting that walkers do not compensate for the energy cost of the walking session by eating more. When you walk you use up calories that you don’t end up overeating later to compensate, therefore you lose weight!

Walking Makes You Feel Fuller At Mealtimes!

A Scottish study (2) found that brisk walking actually diminished appetite! The researchers tested obese women and found that a 20 minute walk produced lower appetite as well as higher satiety and fullness perceptions. That means that after a walk, you actually feel fuller even though you want to eat less!

Lose Weight & Lower Your Blood Sugar By Walking!

Another study (3) tested the appetites of subjects two and five hours after they had undergone a 60 minute brisk walk, and showed that there were no essential differences from when they had not walked at all. While the one hour walk consumed an average of 439 calories, all the measures of appetite which include hunger, fullness, satisfaction, and prospective food consumption were not noticeably different. Just as significantly, the levels of substances which affect appetite relative to diabetes and overall health such as acylated ghrelin, glucose, insulin, and triacylglycerol were also unchanged! The conclusion of this study is that since walking does not make you eat more, it is a great way to burn up those excess calories! Great news for both weight-loss as well as sufferers of diabetes: Walking helps you lose weight and stabilize your blood sugar levels!

Walking Allows You to Consume More Fat!

A British study (4) concluded that a half hour brisk walk daily offsets the blood chemistry effects of substituting dietary fats for carbohydrates: This means that walkers can indulge in eating diets that are higher in satisfying fats without negatively affecting their blood sugar levels. Hard to believe that walking actually allows you to consume more fat in your diet and stay healthy, but that’s just one of the amazing effects of walking!

Walking Even Makes You Crave Chocolate Less! Wow!

The satisfying effect of a nice brisk walk can even temper your temptation to engage in sweet snacking. A British study (5) investigated the effects of walking on urges to eat chocolate. Subjects were sent out for a session of walking and then exposed to their favorite chocolates. The study found that a brisk walk reduced chocolate urges right across the board. Since chocolate is such a calorie rich snack, having the clinical evidence that walking does not increase your cravings for it, is a godsend to all chocolate lovers who wish to avoid a bulging waistline! It seems that walking is the dieter’s best friend to curb your hunger and calm your cravings! So… Walk, don’t choc!

References

1) Unick JL, Otto AD, Goodpaster BH, et al. Acute effect of walking on energy intake in overweight/obese women. Appetite. 2010 Jul 30.

2) Tsofliou F, Pitsiladis YP, Malkova D, et al. Moderate physical activity permits acute coupling between serum leptin and appetite-satiety measures in obese women. Int J ObesRelatMetabDisord. 2003 Nov;27(11):1332-9.

3) King JA, Wasse LK, Broom DR, et al. Influence of brisk walking on appetite, energy intake, and plasma acylated ghrelin. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Mar;42(3):485-92.

4) Burns SF, Hardman AE, Stensel DJ. Brisk walking offsets the increase in postprandial TAG concentrations found when changing to a diet with increased carbohydrate. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jun;101(12):1787-96.

5) Taylor AH, Oliver AJ. Acute effects of brisk walking on urges to eat chocolate, affect, and responses to a stressor and chocolate cue. An experimental study. Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):155-60.

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