Why do you need Diabetic Shoes?
One of the most common side effects of diabetes is "peripheral neuropathy," which is basically damage to the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that are routed from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs, and glands. Peripheral neuropathy can impair the proper functioning of these nerves.
The most common symptoms of neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands and can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Because a diabetic may not feel an injury to their feet, shoes that don't fit well can lead to minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If the minor injuries are undetected and untreated, they can lead to larger complications like ulceration and possibly even amputation.
A Proper Fit is Essential
Shoes that fit properly and promote proper posture are critical to a diabetic in order to prevent injuries to the feet. A diabetic should seek out companies that specialize in pedorthics, which is the design of footwear to help alleviate and / or prevent foot pain and injury. There may be a higher cost for these shoes, but the value to the diabetic can not be overstated. The best shoes will be recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
Diabetic shoes are often wider and deeper than regular shoes, to make room for special diabetic insoles. Pedorthic insoles for diabetics are typically custom made to fit a diabetic's feet, to ensure a proper fit and to minimize rubbing and uneven weight distribution, preventing injury. Proper air circulation is also very important in diabetic shoes. For this reason, most diabetic footwear will have fabric or sandal-style uppers. Properly designed diabetic shoes can prevent ulcers, encourage good blood circulation, and allow the skin to breathe properly.
Why is the Foot So Vulnerable?
The foot is especially affected by diabetes because, as we stated previously, diabetes damages the nerves which can lead to foot injuries going unnoticed. Diabetes also affects the circulation which can limit the ability of the body to heal injuries. People who have diabetes are more prone to infection. This is because the processes that normally fight the infections are slower due to the poor circulation. The joints can also be affected by diabetes, making them stiffer than normal.
Because of these issues, there can be other complications to the feet. A sore could be developed on the foot and become infected and not detected due to the peripheral neuropathy. The infected foot would not heal well because of the infection and the poor circulation to the feet. A foot ulcer could also be caused by a poor fitting shoe without being detected. If an infection in the foot spreads, the limb may ultimately need to be amputated. The main cause of amputations is diabetes.