By Dr. B.K. Prasanta Kumar, Ayurveda
Diabetes affects blood circulation and also causes diabetic neuropathy which damages nerves. These two conditions lead to complications within the lower extremities in diabetic patients. It is very important for diabetic patients to take care of their foot. In diabetic patients, foot wounds and ulcers can then lead to amputation if they cannot be resolved.
Here are few important tips related to Ayurveda for diabetes mellitus patients to take care of diabetic foot:-
- Inspect your foot daily. Look and feel for any signs of injury, redness, swelling, bad odour, bruising etc. It is always advisable to undergo a professional foot exam once in a year. Physicians will exam your feet for any injuries or foot problems.
- It is necessary to wash your feet daily in lukewarm water with neem. A diabetic patient will not be able to judge the temperature of water due to loss of sensation in the feet. Hence, test the water with hands or wrists before placing your feet into it. When your feet are well soaked rub the heels with a pumice stone to remove dead skin. Never try to remove calluses and corns with sharp objects or chemicals.
- Dry the foot thoroughly to remove all the water. Use a soft cotton cloth for this. Apply aloe vera based moisturizer or petroleum jelly all over feet except between toes as increased moisture between toes leads to fungal infection.
- Dust talcum powder between toes to prevent accumulation of moisture.
- Do not walk around barefoot as it increases injuries. Use soft slippers even when you walk about at home. Wear comfortable slippers or shoes. Check the inside of shoes for pebbles or sand before wearing them.
- Wear comfortable thin cotton socks. Cotton socks absorb sweat and do not cause skin irritation. Do not wear tight elastic banded socks as they hamper blood circulation.
- Quit smoking as smoking exaggerates circulation problems.
- Take care to keep your blood sugar under control; use bitters like neem and kalmegh to keep blood sugar under control.
- Get your blood sugar checked once in three months.
- Stay fit and in shape through regular yoga