While dietary changes and blood sugar monitoring are an expected part of diabetes management, elderly patients often find it surprising when they are asked questions regarding their foot care. However, with a better understanding of the effects of diabetes on the body, the reasons for such seemingly stinky questions quickly become clear. Today, Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care in Centennial, is going to provide a bit of insight into diabetes home care so that family members can better care for their loved ones with diabetes.
Diabetes Affects the Whole Body
Excess blood sugar increases the rate of development of Advanced Glycation End Products, called “AGEs” for short. The AGE-ing of cells and proteins interferes with their normal function, leading to problems such as poor circulation and nerve damage. As diabetics are regularly exposed to excess blood sugar, they experience more rapid AGE-ing throughout the body.
Why It’s Important to Fuss about Feet
The development of “diabetic foot” is attributed to the intersection of several factors including AGE-induced nervous and circulatory dysfunction. This makes diabetics particularly vulnerable to losing normal pain sensation, particularly in the extremities. Unfortunately, this loss of sensation is surprisingly overlooked. Too often, it is only diagnosed after discovering a small object has been unknowingly lodged in the sole of the foot.
Another factor contributing to foot problems in diabetes is altered circulation due to AGEs on blood vessels. Without good blood flow, any wounds that develop on the foot have a harder time healing. In addition, diabetes generally causes the immune system to function less efficiently overall. These factors can combine to make any wound on the foot of a diabetic extremely difficult to heal.
Keeping Feet Happy
While good diabetes management is the best method to prevent the development of diabetic foot, doctors recommend a number of additional cautionary measures. All diabetics should keep their shoes on, even when in the house, in order to prevent any small or sharp objects from piercing the skin. They should also inspect their feet every night before sleeping. Diabetics should also be sure to have their feet checked for nerve damage by a doctor at least once per year.
If your aging parent or loved one is living with diabetes and you feel they could use some help with daily activities, nutritious meal preparation or other activities to help monitor their condition, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Centennial today. We provide hourly and 24 hour care in Centennial, allowing seniors to choose the care schedule and level of care that best meets their individual needs. For more information or to schedule a complimentary, in-home consultation, call 303-957-3100.