Diabetic Shoes. Orthopedic footwear. Insoles and Orthotics. What is all this about and why do I need them if I am diabetic? One of the issues with diabetes is that people with the disease have a tendency to have problems with their feet. One of the first things that a doctor will go over with a diabetic, once the disease is diagnosed, is proper foot care. This is because the feet are susceptible to damage without the person knowing there is a problem.
There are two main issues the Diabetic needs to worry about. First, is something called neuropathy, or properly known as peripheral diabetic neuropathy. This is when a person loses sensation in their feet due to nerve damage brought on by diabetes. It can be caused by poor circulation and the result feels like numbness in the toes and feet. It can be equated to the feeling when your foot goes to sleep, but it doesn’t go away. When your feet are numb, you can’t feel the pain from something cutting them or even the heat from your bath water and infection or damage can occur.
The other problem that arises is something called peripheral vascular disease or hardening of the arteries in your legs. This can stop the blood flow from entering your feet – a blood flow that contains the proper antibodies for healing any problems that may occur. When this happens, infection can set in and then there are real problems.
So, how does diabetic footwear help your feet? Well, there are three parts to helping the diabetic foot: Socks, Orthotics, and Shoes.
A diabetic sock is one that is made to not bind on the leg. This does not mean loose, but is not as constrictive as a normal sock. These are also good for people who suffer from edema, or swelling of the legs and feet. In recent years, not only have diabetic socks been gaining in popularity, but silver in a textile form has been added into the weave. This is extremely helpful for diabetics, since silver has the ability to kill bacteria and fungi on the foot. Silver even gets rid of odor caused by perspiration. What is better is that the silver is natural and doesn’t contain chemicals that can adverse effects.
These inserts that fit into your shoes can really save your feet. They can also help to align your ankles, knees, hips, and back. There are all types of orthotics on the market. There is a difference between these and inserts or insoles. Typically, an orthotic has a raised arch or extra padding in the ball of your foot or heel. Why this is important to the diabetic goes back to the foot problems mentioned above: Poor circulation and loss of feeling. If you cannot feel pain in your feet, you forget to shift your body. A proper diabetic orthotic will redistribute the pressure points in your feet and help to alleviate some of these issues.
The diabetic shoe is designed to protect the foot from the problems mentioned above. It cannot cure the disease, but it can help prevent issues from becoming life-and-limb threatening. A proper diabetic shoe is usually wider and deeper than a shoe you would buy at a retail outlet. They are lightweight and usually seamless (on the inside) to stop rubbing from occurring. This can cause blisters and hot spots that may turn into rashes. Silver in shoes also helps this from occurring because it redistributes the heat from one location over a wider area. Another factor with diabetic shoes is that they usually are ventilated or have moisture wicking materials in them to keep bacteria away from the foot – something that breeds in moist, hot environments, such as your shoes.
While usually not the most fashionable of footwear, diabetic shoes have progressed quite a bit in the past few years. One can find athletic footwear, women’s styles, casual shoes, dress shoes, and even shoes that stretch to allow extra room for swollen feet.
Your feet really need to be taken care if you are diabetic. There is a lot of good, comfortable footwear available. If you suffer from diabetes, look into a pair of these shoes, orthotics, and socks. I have found these type of products at a web site called, Footwearnmore.com, although, a quick search of the internet will bring up more. If you have concerns about bacteria and odor, look for products that contain silver. Take care of your feet. Buy proper footwear and keep walking.
James Fowler is a freelance author and search engine marketer who writes articles on internet marketing, local business advertising, and foot health issues.