06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

Cold feet with diabetes

By: Novoviva webmaster

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Question

Since I developed diabetes I find my feet are always cold in bed - even when I put on an extra blanket. During the day they feel fine. Is there any connection with the diabetes?

 

Answer

People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot care problems for people with diabetes are caused mainly because diabetes affects the feet in two ways. Diabetes can reduce blood circulation (blood flow) which can cause cold feet and can make your feet less able to fight infection and to heal, or when there is nerve damage, also called neuropathy, which results in loss of feeling in your feet. Even ordinary problems can get worse and lead to serious complications. Diabetes causes blood vessels of the foot and leg to narrow and harden. If your feet are cold, you may be tempted to warm them. But remember, if your feet cannot feel heat, it is easy for you to burn them with hot water, hot water bottles, or heating pads. The best way to help cold feet is to wear thick warm socks to bed.
 

However, you can improve circulation if you: Avoid smoking(smoking makes arteries harden faster) - Are physically active - Control blood fat and glucose levels - Control blood pressure (the lifestyle advice for diabetes control is also effective in keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol under control).
 

A few simple steps can help prevent foot problems, for example: Check feet daily for any signs of injury or changes in colour - Wash feet daily and dry well between the toes - Keep toenails trimmed. Cut toenails straight across and file rough edges - Avoid injury by wearing well-fitting, protective shoes - Have corns or calluses treated by a podiatrist.
 

If you have a good understanding of your diabetes this will enable you to achieve an improved quality of life. For people with type 2 diabetes, lifestyle modifications are an essential part of disease management. The most important factor is good glucose or blood sugar control. This is achieved by regular blood sugar checks, and by following a High fibre -heart healthy diet which is low in fat and cholesterol, Exercising, Losing and/or Maintaining normal weight. Stress Management and abstaining from smoking are recommended to help prevent the debilitating complications associated with this condition. High fibre foods: breads, pasta, rice, cereals, dried peas and beans, fruits and vegetables are good sources of complex carbohydrates (starch and fibre). They are excellent substitutes for foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables raise your energy level and provide fiber to help regulate blood sugar, as well as lower cholesterol, reduce cancer risk and prevent intestinal problems. They've also been linked to helping control high blood pressure. Five a day - that's the magic number of servings of fruits and vegetables recommended.
 

Related Links
Living with Diabetes Successfully
Stress Management Helps Diabetes Control
Foot complications
Diabetes and Feet
Glucose Control - Benefits

Created on: 06/01/2006
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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