Diabetes Swollen Feet Treatment Options And Lifestyle Tips

Diabetes feet swelling


Diabetes can impact blood circulation, accumulating fluid in the feet, ankles, and lower legs, causing swollen feet, a common concern among people with diabetes, which may occur due to infections, injuries, blood clots and, more prominently, conditions like diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. When there's an excessive collection of fluid within the tissues, it results in edema, manifesting as swollen feet and ankles. The swelling might be localized to a particular area or spread out more broadly.

Swelling often occurs after consuming salty meals or sitting or standing for extended periods. Hormonal fluctuations can also trigger swelling in some individuals. However, these are not the sole reasons behind the swelling. Wearing compression or diabetic socks, engaging in physical activities, and various treatments can help reduce this swelling.

In this article, we'll dive into the causes of diabetes swollen feet, explain how to recognize the signs of this condition and present effective treatments and tips for managing and preventing it.

What are the Signs of Diabetic Feet?

People with diabetes may have two specific problems that are known to affect the feet:

  • Diabetic neuropathyHigh blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage. Damaged foot nerves might prevent you from feeling heat, cold, or touch in your feet. If you're not feeling the sores or ulcers on your feet, you might be experiencing neuropathy.
  • Peripheral vascular diseaseBlood flow can often be affected by diabetes. Without proper flow of blood, sores and cuts take longer to heal. If you have an untreated infection due to PVD, you're at risk for developing ulcers or even gangrene. 

When it comes to diabetic foot swelling, pain is a common occurrence. How can you recognize that your swelling is a sign of a more serious issue? 

You should be concerned - and talk to your doctor - if you're experiencing any of the following problems:

  • changes in the color of your skin
  • sudden temperature changes in the skin
  • prolonged feeling of pain in the limbs
  • open sores that are slow to heal
  • ingrown toenails that are visibly infected 

Other Causes of Feet Swelling

High blood sugar over time can harm the nerves in your feet and other body parts, leading to a loss of sensation. This numbness can make it hard to notice injuries such as sprains, fractures, and cuts.

Neglected sprains and fractures can lead to swelling, while ignored cuts and scrapes may become inflamed or infected. For those with diabetes, regularly inspecting your feet for any injuries is crucial.

Regular visits to a foot care specialist are advised to monitor for any issues with blood circulation or nerve damage in the feet.

The National Health Service highlights several diabetes-related factors that might lead to swollen feet, including:

  • Being overweight
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Heart-related issues
  • Kidney problems
  • Side effects from medications

In rare cases, edema might occur due to capillaries prone to leaking or, occasionally, from using large insulin doses.

Diabetic Swollen Feet Remedies

As a person who has diabetes, you need to be aware that you're more vulnerable to leg and foot infections. The American Diabetes Association estimates that around 20% of people with diabetes seek hospital care due to foot-related issues at one point in their lives.

To effectively manage diabetes foot swelling, take specific steps to ensure your feet are as healthy as possible. In addition to visiting a doctor every 6 to 12 months for a checkup, you should also follow these diabetes foot care tips:

  1. Start exercising regularly: Moderate physical activity may lead to an ease of foot swelling. Exercise can help you with weight and blood sugar management, as well as with better blood circulation. All of which can reduce swelling significantly. 
  2. Try using essential oils: Essential oils can improve blood circulation in the lower limbs. Lavender oil has been shown to improve blood circulation and reduce edema. Other essential oils that may help are eucalyptus, chamomile, and peppermint. 
  3. Limit your sodium intake: Too much salt can worsen foot swelling. The average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium per day. Limit your intake to 2,300 mg daily, and try cooking food with herbs like oregano, paprika, and garlic powder instead. 
  4. Leg Elevation: Elevating your feet above the level of your heart can significantly alleviate fluid accumulation in the lower extremities, reducing swelling as per the guidelines from the NHS. This elevation encourages fluid to flow back toward your body instead of pooling in your feet. You can easily achieve this elevation while relaxing on a sofa or in bed. If you find yourself at a desk unable to maintain your legs above heart level, utilizing an ottoman or a small stool could relieve the swelling. A particular yoga pose, "Legs Up the Wall," can also be beneficial. Here are the steps to perform it: Start by lying down on your back and move your buttocks as close to the wall as possible. Once comfortable, lift your legs and rest them against the wall. Maintain this position for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Hydrate: Consuming more water when your body is retaining fluid may seem counterintuitive. However, increasing fluid intake typically leads to more fluid being expelled through urination. Additionally, dehydration can prompt your body to hold onto extra water. Before making any significant changes to your fluid intake, it's crucial to consult with your doctor. If your edema is linked to heart or liver issues, your doctor might recommend restricting your fluid consumption.

What's the Best Treatment for Diabetes Swollen Feet?

Wearing specially designed socks for diabetes edema helps ease swelling and pain. These socks give you the right amount of pressure on your feet and maintain it throughout the day. Stretchy diabetic socks or mild compression socks can improve blood circulation, reducing swelling significantly.

Compression socks are designed to apply the right amount of pressure to your feet and legs, which, according to this study, can improve blood flow in your feet and help minimize swelling. These socks extend from your calf to your knee. You should wear them like any regular socks throughout the day and take them off before sleeping. It's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider to determine whether you need to wear them on one or both legs.

The compression socks must fit well without being overly tight. Begin with mild compression socks made specifically for diabetic feet. Socks that are too tight can impede blood flow. Additionally, avoid wearing compression socks over any open wounds or sores.

Stretchy diabetic socks ensure that your feet have optimal circulation by being non-restrictive. This is important because it will allow for healthy blood flow throughout the body. Fluid builds up during certain activities - hiking, exercising, and even taking a flight. It is essential to keep your socks on while you're engaging in these activities. If you're experiencing swelling in one leg from diabetes, talk to your physician to see if you should wear them.

Diabetic socks should be worn throughout the day. Some patients should consider sleeping with their socks on. However, if you like to sleep barefooted, you should keep your feet above the heart level to prevent them from swelling at night. 

Get a Pair of Compression Socks or Stretchy Diabetic Socks today!

That's how you can treat diabetic foot swelling. Some might put on diabetic socks or compression socks as soon as they wake up in the morning. Some doctors recommend you wear them while you're still in bed, only taking them off while you bathe and having them back on until you return to bed. 

How does our service work? Head over to our collections page, pick how many pairs of socks you want and have them delivered right to your door.

Diabetic foot swelling is a serious matter. Ease it by ordering your pair of Viasox right away!

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