Diabetes Foot Health | The Most Important Concern in Fitting Shoes!
What is Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is no longer producing insulin which is required for the metabolism of sugars. Blood levels must be checked and insulin must be inject regularly for these individuals. An imbalance in glucose levels in the blood effects the circulation in the extremities and can cause ulceration, gout, or gangrene.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes occurs when there is an imbalance in the body's production of insulin and glucose levels get too high or too low. This often occurs in senior's or overweight individuals. It is primarily treated through diet, exercise, and medication.
Fitting Footwear For Diabetics
Why Proper Fitting Footwear Is the Most Important Concern in Shoe Fitting
Proper fitting footwear is pivotal to people with diabetes due to diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage where they have decreased circulation and lose feeling in their feet. Shoes that are too tight in any way can cause tissue damage and lead to amputation.
For people with diabetes, gradual loss of sensation in the feet interferes with the ability to judge whether shoes or orthotics fit and perform as they should. Friction or rubbing can go unnoticed and worsen into a break in the skin, or an ulcer. Shoes can be tied to tightly, hindering circulation. If a foot orthosis is needed, the patient may not be able to determine whether it is effective.
For this reason we always ask,
"Are you Diabetic? Do you have any sensation in your feet?"
How Proper Footwear and Footcare can Help Diabetics
According to the Canadian Pedorthic Association, an estimated 2.3 million Canadians currently live with diabetes and 14-24 percent of those are at risk of developing a foot ulcer that will result in the amputation of a foot or leg.
Foot problems are the leading cause of hospitalization for Canadians living with diabetes but it is sometimes not understood that the majority of these problems could have been avoided through daily foot care and proper shoe selection.
To get find the right size when there is limited sensitivity we always begin by taking out the insole of the shoe and having the patient try it on and stand so we can check the fit visually and through feeling through the shoe.
We also recommend people with diabetes only wear their new shoes for 1 hour periods after purchasing. This is so the feet can be check for discoloration from pressure points. Further, we strongly recommend diabetic socks.