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Why Do Your Feet Swell When You Have Diabetes

Home Remedies For Swollen Feet, Legs, & Ankles In Chronic Kidney Disease And Diabetic Patients

Home Remedies For Swollen Feet, Legs, & Ankles In Chronic Kidney Disease And Diabetic Patients

A viewer emailed KidneyBuzz.com and asked, "I have been working most of the day sitting at my desk on my computer, and not drinking any water or fluid. Still my feet are all swollen! What is going on, should I be worried?" Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients know that swelling may be rather common in the feet, legs and ankles. Certain home remedies and natural treatments, however, may prove very "helpful for Chronic Kidney Disease, or Renal Failure [patients]" to reduce the occurrence of swelling which may impact their quality of life, according to Livestrong.com. Recommended Reading: How Kidney Disease Patients can Prevent and Recover from Swelling WebMD notes that "swollen ankles and swollen feet are common and usually not cause for concern, particularly if you have been standing or walking a lot." However, when you have swollen feet, legs or ankles how do you spend your day? If you are like most Chronic Kidney Disease or Diabetic patients, the answer is, "In bed with feet up, trying to avoid walking." This is understandable because swelling can cause tenderness, discomfort, and even pain, all of which do not make for a high quality of life. Recommended Reading: Uncommon And Realistic Strategies To Control And Prevent Diabetic Related Swelling Due to the fact that Home Remedies in the form of supplements and herbs may produce side effects, Chronic Kidney Disease and/or Diabetic patients should consult their Healthcare Team BEFORE using them. Recommended Reading: Exercises Tailored for Chronic Kidney Disease on Dialysis For instance according to Livestrong.com, Dandelion (a common garden weed) can be used to reduce swelling. A powerful herb used for centuries for the treatment of various ailments, they suggested that Dandelion is an effective diuretic and may be helpf Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet

Diabetes And Your Feet

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands. Foot problems are a big risk in diabetics. Diabetics must constantly monitor their feet or face severe consequences, including amputation. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that’s too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not healing, it’s at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections spread quickly. If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. Look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror. Here’s some basic advice for taking care of your feet: Always keep your feet warm. Don’t get your feet wet in snow or rain. Don’t put your feet on radiators or in front of the fireplace. Don’t smoke or sit cross-legged. Both decrease blood supply to your feet. Don’t soak your feet. Don’t use antiseptic solutions, drugstore medications, heating pads or sharp instruments on your feet. Trim your toenails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. Use a nail file or emery board. If you find an ingrown toenail, contact our office. Use quality lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist, but don’t put any lotion between your toes. Wash your feet every day with mild soap and warm water. Wear loose socks to bed. Wear warm socks and shoes in winter. When drying your feet, pat each foot with a Continue reading >>

The Right Socks For Diabetes

The Right Socks For Diabetes

Do you know what to wear on your feet? The right socks and shoes can prevent complications and improve your life with diabetes. Find the footwear that’s right for you. Why do people with diabetes need good socks and shoes? Diabetes often slows blood circulation to and from the feet. If blood doesn’t flow well from feet to the heart, legs and feet will swell (called edema). If blood gets stuck in veins, it may form blood clots that can travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism) or brain (stroke), which can be fatal. Arteries bring blood from the heart to the feet. In poorly controlled diabetes, arteries can be blocked with scar tissue and fat deposits. This is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). According to the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, people with diabetes have two to four times the risk of developing PAD compared to those without diabetes. Endocrinologist Bonnie W. Greenwald, MD, says, “Poor blood flow makes it harder for the body to heal, which increases the risk for skin ulcers and gangrene, or tissue death.” The end result can sometimes be amputation of a foot or leg. This is where shoes and socks come in. The right footwear can protect feet from injury and infection. It can also improve circulation through the lower half of your body. Diabetes socks Diabetes socks protect feet from injury. According to the medical equipment company Sigvaris, “Most diabetic socks are soft, provide padding on the sole of the foot, and should conform to the foot/leg without wrinkles,” which could irritate the skin. They shouldn’t have anything sharp in them, so they are often seamless or have “flat seams” against the toes or foot. The Sigvaris site says, “The fibers should wear evenly, instead of leaving thin spots where friction Continue reading >>

Toe, Foot, And Ankle Problems, Noninjury

Toe, Foot, And Ankle Problems, Noninjury

Topic Overview Everyone has had a minor problem with a toe, foot, or ankle. Most of the time our body movements do not cause problems, but it's not surprising that symptoms develop from everyday wear and tear or overuse. Toe, foot, or ankle problems can also occur from injuries or the natural process of aging. Your toes, feet, or ankles may burn, sting, hurt, feel tired, sore, stiff, numb, tingly, hot, or cold. You may have had a "charley horse" (muscle cramp) in your foot while lying in bed at night. Your feet or ankles may change color or swell. You may have noticed an embarrassing odor from your feet. Some changes in your feet and ankles are normal as a person ages or during pregnancy. Home treatment is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms. Toe, foot, or ankle problems may be caused by an injury. If you think an injury caused your problem, see the topic Toe, Foot, or Ankle Injuries. But there are many noninjury causes of toe, foot, or ankle problems. Skin problems Most skin problems that affect your feet are more annoying than they are serious. If you have: Patches of thick and tough skin on the heel or ball of your foot: You may have a callus, corn, blister, or skin growth. Red, peeling, cracking, burning, and itchy skin between your toes or on the bottom of your feet: You may have athlete's foot. Or maybe your feet are reacting to the shoes you are wearing ( shoe dermatitis ). Red, swollen, and painful skin around a toenail: You may have an ingrown nail or an infection around your nail ( paronychia ). Red, swollen soles of your feet that are painful to the touch or when you walk: You may have a bacterial infection. Public showers, hot tubs, or swimming pools are common areas where bacterial infections, athlete's foot, and warts can be spread to your Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet Care Of The Diabetic Foot

Diabetes And Your Feet Care Of The Diabetic Foot

Diabetes has many effects on feet, and it is extremely important that any diabetic seek podiatric care. Diabetes is a syndrome (a set of symptoms which occur together) characterized mainly by an increase in sugar levels or a failure of the body to produce insulin to control its sugar levels. "It's essential that I take care of my feet." It is imperative that diabetics take special care of their feet. Bear in mind that, if you are diabetic, you need a doctor's care to protect your feet — and that this page is not intended as a substitute for a medical diagnosis or suggested course of treatment. Please see your doctor! Diabetes is a serious condition which can have many effects on the feet, including: (1) Nerve damage, resulting in numbness, extensive burning, pain, coldness, "pins and needles" or tingling while at rest. These nerves may actually affect the "position" sense, so that the joints or bones actually collapse with time. (2) Blocked blood vessels or decreased blood flow with fewer nutrients reaching the feet. Without proper nourishment, sores on the foot may not heal in the normal time period, or may be vulnerable to secondary problems such as infection. (3) Weakened bones, causing a shift in the foot, which may become deformed, changing the way the foot distributes pressure. (4) Collapsed joints, especially in the area of the arch. As a result, the arch can no longer absorb pressure. The surrounding skin may also begin to break down. (5) Blisters and Calluses. Diabetics are much more vulnerable to blister or callus formation, which generally stars as a warm or red spot caused by unrelieved skin pressure and the failure of the diabetic to feel the area. (6) Ulcers or sores more easily occur as a result of the breakdown of several layers of skin. These ulcers m Continue reading >>

6 Emergency Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

6 Emergency Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of many serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and amputation. But by keeping your diabetes in check — that means maintaining good blood sugar control — and knowing how to recognize a problem and what to do about it should one occur, you can prevent many of these serious complications of diabetes. Heart Attack Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability in people with diabetes. Heart attack symptoms may appear suddenly or be subtle, with only mild pain and discomfort. If you experience any of the following heart attack warning signs, call 911 immediately: Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest, lasting for a short time or going away and returning Pain elsewhere, including the back, jaw, stomach, or neck; or pain in one or both arms Shortness of breath Nausea or lightheadedness Stroke If you suddenly experience any of the following stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. As with a heart attack, immediate treatment can be the difference between life and death. Stroke warning signs may include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs on one side of the body Feeling confused Difficulty walking and talking and lacking coordination Developing a severe headache for no apparent reason Nerve Damage People with diabetes are at increased risk of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, due to uncontrolled high blood sugar. Nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in your feet, which makes you more vulnerable to injury and infection. You may get a blister or cut on your foot that you don't feel and, unless you check your feet regularly, an infection Continue reading >>

13 Reasons Your Feet Are Swollen

13 Reasons Your Feet Are Swollen

What Causes Swollen Feet You’ve got to hand it to your feet—they might just be the hardest-working part of your body. They take a beating every day, supporting your body weight and letting you walk, run, jump, stand, and tip-toe. The 26 bones and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in each foot and ankle work as a team, carrying you to your job, the gym, and home. All of this foot action adds up to a lot of wear and tear, so it isn’t a surprise that one of the biggest complaints people have is swollen feet. Feet often puff up a half-size or so because you’re not treating them with the TLC they deserve—say by standing all day or shoving them into too-tight pumps. But swollen feet have other causes too, some of which are serious and serve as red flags to a larger health issue. So what exactly happens when feet swell? Whether due to pressure, inactivity, injury, or some other cause, circulation to and from your feet slows down, and blood begins to pool in the many blood vessels spread out along your toes, heels, and ankles. Gravity helps this along too, says Dyane Tower, DPM, director of clinical affairs at the American Podiatric Medical Association. Tired of coming home with feet that feel like balloons and concerned about why they’re swollen? Our guide below covers every cause, then takes you through the next steps. You stand or sit for hours at a time Counter people, doctors, nurses, and others who work on their feet often end the day feeling like their shoes are too tight. Here’s why: when you don’t move much while standing, the muscles in your legs, ankles, your feet don’t have a chance to contract, causing blood flow to and from your feet to slow down. The same thing happens to people who sit for long stretches. Reduced blood flow triggers Continue reading >>

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy can cause the following symptoms: Numbness (loss of feeling) or painful tingling and burning in parts of the body, especially your feet, legs, and toes. Muscle weakness and difficulty walking. Your feet heal slowly when you get cuts, sores, or blisters on them. Also, they don’t hurt as much as you would expect. Diabetes causes the level of sugar in your blood to be higher than normal. Over time, high blood sugar levels damage your blood vessels and nerves. That’s why people who don’t (or can’t) control their blood sugar very well seem more likely to get diabetic neuropathy. Men are more likely to have diabetic neuropathy than women. High cholesterol levels and smoking also increase your risk. The most important thing is to keep your blood sugar under control. Take your medicines and/or insulin exactly as your doctor prescribes. Eat a healthy diet. If you are overweight, ask your doctor to help you lose weight. Get plenty of exercise. What can I do to prevent foot problems from diabetic neuropathy? Keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible. Also, follow your doctor’s advice on diet and exercise. Take your insulin or medicine exactly as prescribed. Here are some other ways to protect your feet: Wash your feet every day with lukewarm (not hot) water and mild soap. Dry your feet well, especially between the toes. Use a soft towel and pat gently; don’t rub. Keep the skin of your feet smooth by applying a small amount of cream or lotion, especially on the heels. If the skin is cracked, talk to your doctor about how to treat it. Check your feet every day. You may need a mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet. Call your doctor if you have redness, swelling, pain that doesn’t go away, numbness, or tingling in any part of you Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care - Symptoms

Diabetic Foot Care - Symptoms

A A A Diabetic Foot Care (cont.) Write down the patient's symptoms and be prepared to talk about them on the phone with a doctor. Following is a list of common reasons to call a doctor if a person with diabetes has a diabetic foot or leg problem. For most of these problems, a doctor visit within about 72 hours is appropriate. Any significant trauma to the feet or legs, no matter how minor, needs medical attention. Even minor injuries can result in serious infections. Persistent mild-to-moderate pain in the feet or legs is a signal that something is wrong. Constant pain is never normal. Any new blister, wound, or ulcer less than 1 inch across can become a more serious problem. The patient will need to develop a plan with a doctor on how to treat these wounds. Any new areas of warmth, redness, or swelling on the feet or legs are frequently early signs of infection or inflammation. Addressing them early may prevent more serious problems. Pain, redness, or swelling around a toenail could mean the patient has an ingrown toenail - a leading cause of diabetic foot infections and amputations. Prompt and early treatment is essential. New or constant numbness in the feet or legs can be a sign of diabetic nerve damage (neuropathy) or of impaired circulation in the legs. Both conditions put the patient at risk for serious problems such as infections and amputations. Difficulty walking can result from diabetic arthritis (Charcot's joints), often a sign of abnormal strain or pressure on the foot or of poorly fitting shoes, as well as the inability to perceive pain. Early intervention is key to preventing more serious problems including falls as well as lower extremity skin breakdown and infections. Constant itching in the feet can be a sign of fungal infection or dry skin, both of wh Continue reading >>

Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?

Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?

What is nerve damage from diabetes? Diabetic neuropathies are nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is one of the most common long term complications of diabetes. It can occur anywhere in the body, and in any organ. Symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and loss of protective sensation can be found in the hands, arms, fingers, feet, legs, toes, and lips. You may also have symptoms of nerve damage in the digestive system (gastroparesis), in the heart, or in sexual organs (erectile dysfunction, or vaginal dryness). In this article, we will be mainly looking at peripheral neuropathy in the feet, also commonly known as sensitive feet. What are sensitive feet? Patients complain about numbness and tingling in their feet and toes, or elsewhere, with a frequency that is more often than in similar reports of other diabetes complications they experience. It’s no wonder these patients with diabetes have complaints of neuropathy symptoms. Other than the tingling sensation or the numbness usually associated with neuropathy, those who have it complain about how much it hurts to put their socks and shoes on. The skin is sensitive to touch, to a point where one can’t even brush up against anything. It is likened to an over-sensitivity and mild pain that is uncomfortable. If it goes on day in and day out, it can be frustrating. Sometimes, a person with diabetes may also get other related foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the heel of the foot, and can be extremely painful. You will find it too sore to walk with plantar fasciitis. Even without heel problems, the generalized foot pain and soreness can become severe. It has been found that as many as 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have neuropathy somewhere in their body. The longer you have diabete Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Problems

Diabetic Foot Problems

What foot problems can be caused by diabetes? Diabetes mellitus can cause serious foot problems. These conditions include diabetic neuropathy (loss of normal nerve function) and peripheral vascular disease (loss of normal circulation). These two conditions can lead to: Diabetic foot ulcers: wounds that do not heal or become infected Infections: skin infections (cellulitis), bone infections (osteomyelitis) and pus collections (abscesses) Gangrene: dead tissue resulting from complete loss of circulation Charcot arthropathy: fractures and dislocations that may result in severe deformities Amputation: partial foot, whole foot or below-knee amputation What are the symptoms of a diabetic foot problem? ​Symptoms of neuropathy may include the loss of protective sensation or pain and tingling sensations. Patients may develop a blister, abrasion or wound but may not feel any pain. Decreased circulation may cause skin discoloration, skin temperature changes or pain. Depending on the specific problem that develops, patients may notice swelling, discoloration (red, blue, gray or white skin), red streaks, increased warmth or coolness, injury with no or minimal pain, a wound with or without drainage, staining on socks, tingling pain or deformity. Patients with infection may have fever, chills, shakes, redness, drainage, loss of blood sugar control or shock (unstable blood pressure, confusion and delirium). How do some of these complications develop? ​Neuropathy is associated with the metabolic abnormalities of diabetes. Vascular disease is present in many patients at the time of diagnosis of diabetes. Ulcers may be caused by external pressure or rubbing from a poorly fitting shoe, an injury from walking barefoot, or a foreign object in the shoe (rough seam, stone or tack). Infecti Continue reading >>

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

Diabetes: Protect Your Feet And Legs

If you have diabetes, you are more likely than people without this disorder to develop leg and foot problems. Diabetes can destroy nerves and cause you to have poor circulation. Left unchecked, these complications can lead to amputation. But there's a lot you can do to prevent that from happening. How Diabetes Causes Limb Problems First, it's important to understand what causes these diabetes complications. According to Marilyn Tan, MD, an endocrinologist and the clinic chief of the Stanford Endocrine Clinic in California, risk factors include poor circulation from atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease, poor wound healing, and uncontrolled blood sugar increases, which increases the risk of infection. “Think of sugar as fuel for bacteria and fungus,” says Dr. Tan. Researchers also know that high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy. The damage can occur in any part of your body, but it is most common in your arms and legs, with the lower extremities affected first. This type of nerve damage is known as peripheral neuropathy. Some people have no symptoms, while others experience numbness, tingling, burning, sharp pain, cramps, extreme sensitivity when touched, and a loss of coordination and balance. When you have peripheral neuropathy, small sores can go unnoticed because of the numbness — you simply don’t feel them. Left untreated, these little problems can become major infections that invade the bones. What’s more, poor circulation from diabetes means any ulcers and infections are harder to heal. If an infection invades your bones, then amputation could be required to save your life. “Diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic lower extremity (leg and foot) amputations in the United States,” says Tan. “Five perc Continue reading >>

Quick Tips: Stroke Symptoms, Swollen Legs, And Glucose Levels

Quick Tips: Stroke Symptoms, Swollen Legs, And Glucose Levels

Lots of questions from listeners on the show this week and time did not permit me to get to all of them. So nothing fancy in this post. Just quick answers on a range of topics from actual listeners. If you missed the show, the podcast is here (click the logo) for you to listen to on your computer, phone, or whereever: Just like on the radio show, I can’t give complete answers to questions here. Always good to check with your own doctor. Here’s how this post will go. I’ll cover 3 topics in a bit of depth: swollen legs, blood glucose, and recognizing a stroke. Although all are important, I really want you to know the symptoms of stroke so I’ll start with that. At the end I’ll do a few quick “lighting round” questions. Fasten your seatbelts. Recognizing a stroke: Act FAST This topic was raised by a listener via the text line and I briefly answered it on the live broadcast. It is so important that I want to repeat it here. Since stroke is a top cause of death (I think it is #5 currently) and since it is one condition (like heart attack) where quite literally every second counts, all people should know the basic symptoms. If you have any of these, you need to go immediately to an Emergency Department (you should call 911). There is simple memory tool to help: FAST Remember to Act FAST: F = FACE. One side of the face droops when smiling. A = ARMS. One arm droops when both arms are held out in front S = SPEECH. Strange or slurred speech. T = TIME to call 911. If any of the above 3 things are present, CALL 911 now. In stroke, it is good to know exactly when the person was last seen to be normal. In other words, the nearer you can pinpoint when the symptoms occurred (remember in stroke the symptoms come on suddenly) the better the treatment decisions can be made. T Continue reading >>

Caring For Your Feet With Diabetes

Caring For Your Feet With Diabetes

When you have diabetes, taking good care of your feet is very important. Poor foot care can lead to serious problems, including possibly having to remove -- or amputate -- the foot or leg. As a person with diabetes, you are more vulnerable to foot problems, because the disease can damage your nerves and reduce blood flow to your feet. The American Diabetes Association has estimated that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for foot problems. By taking proper care of your feet, most serious problems can be prevented. It's important that your doctor check your feet at least once a year for any problems. Here are some diabetes foot care tips to follow. Use mild soaps. Use warm water. Pat your skin dry; do not rub. Thoroughly dry your feet, especially between the toes. After washing, use lotion on your feet to prevent cracking. Do not put lotion between your toes. Check the tops and bottoms of your feet. Have someone else look at your feet if you cannot see them. Check for dry, cracked skin. Look for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores. Check for redness, increased warmth, or tenderness when touching any area of your feet. Check for ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. If you get a blister or sore from your shoes, do not "pop" it. Apply a bandage and wear a different pair of shoes. Cut toenails after bathing, when they are soft. Cut toenails straight across and smooth with an emery board. Avoid cutting into the corners of toes. You may want a podiatrist (foot doctor) to cut your toenails. Walk and exercise in comfortable shoes. Do not exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Use this simple test to see if your shoes fit correctly: Stand on a piece of paper. (Make sure you are standing and not sitting, because your foot changes shape w Continue reading >>

Swollen Ankles And Feet

Swollen Ankles And Feet

5. Infection Swelling in the feet and ankles can be a sign of infection. People with diabetic neuropathy or other nerve problems of the feet are at greater risk of foot infections. If you have diabetes, it is important to inspect your feet daily for blisters and sores, because nerve damage can blunt the pain sensation and foot problems can progress quickly. If you notice a swollen foot or blister that appears to be infected, seek medical advice straight away. 6. Blood clot Blood clots that form in the veins of the legs can stop the return flow of blood from the legs back to the heart and cause swelling in the ankles and feet. Blood clots can be either superficial (occurring in the veins just beneath the skin), or deep (a condition known as deep vein thrombosis). Deep clots can block one or more of the major veins of the legs. These blood clots can be life-threatening if they break loose and travel to the heart and lungs. If you have swelling in one leg, along with pain, a slight fever and possibly a change in colour of the affected leg, seek medical advice immediately. Treatment with blood thinners may be necessary. 7. Heart, liver or kidney disease Sometimes swelling can indicate a problem such as heart, liver or kidney disease. Ankles that swell could be a sign of heart failure. Kidney disease can also cause foot and ankle swelling. When kidneys are not functioning properly, fluid can build up in the body. Liver disease can affect the liver's production of a protein called albumin, which keeps the blood from leaking out of the blood vessels into the surrounding tissues. Inadequate albumin production can lead to fluid leakage. Gravity causes fluid to accumulate more in the feet and ankles, but fluid can also accumulate in the abdomen and chest. If your swelling is acco Continue reading >>

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