Diabetic complications

By butterfly_8 Latest Reply 2014-05-18 16:59:24 -0500
Started 2008-07-14 17:41:24 -0500

I would like to remind everyone of the many serious complications of diabetes.(heart,kidneys,feet.)
We know there are many,but I can testify to the foot complications. Once my problem began keeping my sugar under control was only one of my considerations.An ulcer on the little & big toe of my left foot has held me hostage since 12/11/2007. I cannot wear a shoe on that foot, therefore I cannot exercise properly.So please remember the rules for proper foot care.
1.Keep blood sugar within a good range.

2.Look at your bare feet daily.

3.Do not use over the counter products or sharp objects on corns or calluses.

4.Never walk barefoot.

5.Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet.

6. Wear socks at night if your feet are cold.

7.Don't smoke.

8. Put your feet up when sitting.

9.Don't use hot water bottles or heating pads.

10.wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes 2 to 3 times a day.
An ounce of pevention is worth a pound of cure.

47 replies

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2008-11-20 22:53:07 -0600 Report

Diabetics need to be wary of getting pedicures at local salons. It is hard to know just how sanitary the conditions are, and you might get a puncture or have toenails clipped oddly or too short, etc. This can cause real problems for us, as you all know. We can't be too careful with our feet.

caspersmama 2008-10-18 02:27:19 -0500 Report

I was having problems with my big toe swelling on my right foot and I already knew I have neuropathy so My doctor sent me to a podiatrist. come to find out I had broken my big toe. Do not know how or anything. So it just heals on its own, so I wear my diabetic crocs in a size bigger and at home I use the memory foam slippers. But everyday we must check our feet.

rj 2008-07-28 08:07:28 -0500 Report

Thanks for that testimony…as a seemingly progressing neuropathy victim I understand…I'm hoping to ward off the ulcers by staying in control of the sugar

Grannypat 2008-07-28 16:27:07 -0500 Report

I just wanted to say that I see a foot doctor for the diabetic neuoropathy on a regular basis. I wear mostly Birkenstock sandals and clogs. He highly approves of them for me. He comments on them almost everytime I see him. I wear very little else. I cannot wear heavy socks at all. I have to find the thinnest socks I can to wear with my clogs in the winter. If my socks are too heavy I am miserable due to the fact that my feet get so hot.I have to wear shoes that allow air to circulate. My foot doctor also recommended that I use any lotion or cream on my feet that has urea in it. It helps the dryness on the heels of the feet.

butterfly_8 2008-07-29 03:10:32 -0500 Report

Hi GrannyPat,
Do you have a particular cream that you use with urea? My feet get very dry.I use everything,but have not got the one that works best yet.

Grannypat 2008-08-01 14:56:39 -0500 Report

I have been using a cream called Dermal Therapy that I found at Wal Mart in the diabetic section. Also I use Eucerin. Hope that helps you.

butterfly_8 2008-08-01 15:01:21 -0500 Report

I have used Eucerin before with good results. I will try the other.There has to be something that lasts.

liz2857 2008-08-01 18:19:49 -0500 Report

Hi Butterfly,I use an oxygenated advanced healing cream made by neoteric diabetic skin care,you can get it at Wal-Mart or at the pharmacy in the Diabetic section,they also have a website you can check out its www.neotericdiabetic.com Hope this is of some help (((hugs)))Liz

butterfly_8 2008-07-29 03:14:08 -0500 Report

Excellent idea. I have an ulcer in the little toe& big toe on my left foot and it does not want to heal. It has held me hostage for months. I couldn;t wear a closed in shoe. I could not exercise properly,therefo circulation was poor. try not to let that happen to you.

lanykins 2014-05-18 16:36:30 -0500 Report

Hi butterly. I'm sorry about the ulcers you have. I also have a big ulcer on my right big toe. It started in March with a callous that built up high. Then one day I discovered it had split down the middle and I had a bleeding cut at the bottom. I immediately went to my foot doctor who cut off all the callous. My toe was infected so I took oral antibiotics, as well as antibiotic on my toe, and after 3 weeks the infection was gone. But, the cut on my toe refuses to heal. By the end of every 2 weeks I have another black callous built up which my Dr. cuts away again. At home, I clean my toe, put antibiotic on it and bandage it up twice a day. I'm not supposed to wear a shoe, only socks, and I need to keep my feet up most of the time. I live in senior housing and must walk around and go to dinner in just socks. BUT, my biggest worry is that my doctor is telling me this could go on for 6 months but I know other people who have gone on like this for more than a year. I have a very good friend who lost his toe, lost his foot and now has lost 1/2 his leg. The infection kept returning. I'm praying that he was an exception but I don't know if my toe will truly heal or if I'll be like this for the rest of my life. I'm not sure I can deal with the constant medical treatment, the work in caring for my toe, living a life in socks and the fears that accompany all of this. Maybe you or someone else here has been through this with a healing in the end.

Babs341 2008-07-27 18:31:20 -0500 Report

Hello Everybody,

First I wanted to thank everyone for all of the replys. Lots of great info. It means alot to see that there are others out there that understand the pain, & everyday struggles that I go through. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in this big universe. :)

2 1/2 yrs ago I was suffering w/ my legs (from the knees down) & my feet swelling so bad that I couldn't wear shoes, socks, some days couldn't even walk. What I couldn't understand was why my feet & sometimes legs would go numb for days. Pretty scarey stuff there.

It wasn't until Jul 07 that I found out I was Type II. Once my BS was better controled my swelling has gone away. The Doc told me the pain in my legs & feet & the numbness was because of neurorphay (?spelling) & arthris in both feet & knees.

Between all that & my fibro it seems like walking across the room is a billion miles away.

I hated that I now had to change my whole life around & that of my family & friends - Almost everyone said… Oh your diabetic - no problems just take a shot of inslin. (lol) some folks just have no clue. And we all tend to ignore the little things until something happens.

I now wear shoes 24/7 - even when I get up to go to the bathroom at nite. Using lotion for my feet, & another "big" change for me was when I got done w/ my shower or bath.. as you dry off… before getting all the way out or dry your feet off.. rinse your feet off again w/ just plain water. I rinse one, dry it, step out of the tub or sit on the side & then rinse the other one, dry & then I'm good to go. This step has help me so so much w/ the dryness & cracking of my feet by 75% w/ in the first 3-4 days.

I wear my "crocs" (ya gotta lovem) most of the time. But I do wear sneakers or my special diabetic shoes. I was able to get my diabetic shoes free.

For anyone w/ bad feet - have your doctor "check" them & docuement that your feet have "problems" do to your diabetes. The doctor can write you a prescription for "diabetic" or special shoes. The doc can also give or get you info about where you can go to get this done (orthopedic specialist or prothstetic specialists) in your area. For anyone who is on Medicare - they allow 1 pair of these shoes "FREE" a year.

It's worth checking into it. Best of Wishes to everyone. Have a great week, take care of yourselfs… and don't forget to check your feet.


butterfly_8 2008-07-28 03:52:11 -0500 Report

Hi Babs,
I know how you felt. For those of us who have or have had trouble with out legs and feet continue to try and warn others of the dangers that can happen. It is so much easier to prevent than cure. good luck to you .

May God Bless.

morris.js 2008-07-22 06:31:10 -0500 Report

I find this topic to be an interesting one. I am always concerned about the complications that we all face without maintaining proper control.

As almost all of you who have posted comments here know, I am very heavy into Tae Kwon Do, which involves kicking targets, people, and even breaking boards and bricks with my bare feet. i often end my practices with having to deal with open wounds on my feet. However, I take immediate action to control any chance of infection and always check my feet even when not practicing my sport.

My brother on the other hand, (who also is a Type 2 Diabetic), Simply split his big toe open when he bumped a bedpost in his room. He got an infection almost immediately, and was hospitalized with it for 12 days. (I was only in for only 5 with open heart surgery back in 2003) He ended up having his big toe amputated and had the real chance of losing his whole foot.

So yes, you do need to be aware of the things that can happen to us. Be dilligent in your efforts to control and observe symptoms of any irregularities. But your life should not stop because of this disease either. I suppose if there comes a time when I will have to give up my Tae Kwon Do due to issues with my feet, I probably will. But until then, I am going to enjoy every moment of my life.

I wish you all the very best, and always keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

liz2857 2008-07-27 16:24:56 -0500 Report

I keep hearing that diabetics shouldn't use heating pads or hot water bottles,so I don't but no one ever told me why.Can someone here tell me? I don't mean to sound stupid,I just don't know why. (((hugs))) Liz

beauty416 2008-07-16 09:17:44 -0500 Report

It is very important to do all these things because if you don't take care of your feet who else will.

ladydi2 2008-07-16 06:24:59 -0500 Report

Everyone is right we have to be careful of our feet. My moto is if the shoe does not feel right I don't wear it. If anyone knows how to tell airport security about diabetic people let me know. They make you take your shoes off even if they are sandles. I also believe we should not have to walk barefoot on an airport floor.

Elfin 2008-07-15 14:53:08 -0500 Report

Good stuff Butterfly and great tips. All that said, each of us must do what works for us.

I do still go barefoot in the house, but not in the dark! :=)I wear fisherman style sandals that enclose my heel and toes partly. In our Florida climate, I would have a hard time giving up my sandals.
However, flip flops are dangerous, because they tend to rub and irritate the skin between the toes and there is no support or protection from stubbing toes or even having a puppy or kitten scratch your foot.

Personally, I find that shoes with vinyl or other man made materials make my feet sweat so I try to buy leather shoes. Wearing cotton socks is great because the cotton wicks away moisture which is important in preventing skin breakdown.

I guess I didn't know thin skin was associated with diabetes, I thought my was thin 'cause I'm so old! :=D

Thanks for bringing this important information. Even those of us who have had type 2 for some time have to be reminded.

GabbyPA 2008-07-15 11:41:06 -0500 Report

It is kind of funny, becuase even without knowing these are things we are supposed to do, we kind of end up doing them naturally. Unfortunately, it was the tingly toes that made me think I was diabetec, and by then it is hard to revese. I found that I wore socks (which I never did before) My barefoot days were gone because it was uncomfortable to be barefooted, specially on hot surfaces. I found that my slippers and sandles were perpetuationg athletes foot and once I quit wearing them (or wore socks) that improved greatly. Crocks really have helped me a lot. They slip on, they are anitbacterial, and they let my feet breath. They also have little nubbies that help stimulate my soles and they have good arch support. They are my favs, until I can get a good pair of diabetic shoes.
I am also lucky, that my hubby gives me foot massages at least 1-2 times a week and he gives my tootsies a good look over above what I keep my eyes on.
Why is it that our skin becomes so thin? I have noticed that I (miss oily skin break out queen) am having issues with dry skin now. I thought it was age. How is that part of diabetes (of course, what is NOT part of our disease?)

kdroberts 2008-07-15 07:10:02 -0500 Report

Well, I can say that I don't follow those rules and for the foreseeable future I wont either, hopefully I never will.

stem from. Keeping your blood sugar in check is the bI do check my feet daily, I don't smoke and I do keep my blood sugars in check. The rest I either don't do at all, I frequently walk barefoot for example, or I don't do all the time, like wearing tight fitting shoes when I play soccer and sandals in the summer.

I've talked with my doctor about it before. I don't have neuropathy so have full feeling in my feet and he's comfortable in me carrying on as I am. If I had decreased sensitivity in my feet then that would be a different story and those rules would become more imprtant. Most of the tips are aimed at preventing further complications from neuropathy rather than preventing neuropathy itself. Keeping blood sugar in check is the big one every diabetic should be doing.

butterfly_8 2008-07-15 07:24:46 -0500 Report

congratulations on your good health. You are very fortunate.You should indeed continue to do what is best for you.

kdroberts 2008-07-15 09:11:03 -0500 Report

I wouldn't say I'm fortunate about my health. I am fortunate that I was diagnosed without symptoms or complications though. At least I have an opportunity to prevent a lot of things that other people can't.

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-07-08 09:40:41 -0500 Report

Hmm, makes sense to me! I also am not a serious diabetic, no complications yet, just stubborn BS but they seem to be lowering as I vent! and check and exercise—So that means to me, that I have time to avoid such, BUT to also be aware!!!! I just got 2 new knees and am getting around fairly well, so don't want to mess up now—after 20 years of crippling around with worn out knees and feet! I sure don't need other complications!! PR

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2008-07-15 05:36:38 -0500 Report

Regarding complications, I just want to remind you all that life can and does go on even if you've developed them. Please have a look at this piece I wrote:



gabrg 2008-07-15 06:26:54 -0500 Report

Over time, diabetes can have a drying effect on the skin. Thickened dry skin can crack and be a portal for infection into the body. Careful foot care and daily inspections are very important for diabetics. It's also important to keep all your skin well-hydrated by avoiding excessive hot water bathing, plus generous use of lotions and emollients. Proper foot care is extremely important. Nails should be trimmed along the contour of the toe and not too short.

lanykins 2014-05-18 16:47:37 -0500 Report

Gabrg, you are so right about thickened dry skin. I built up a big callous that finally split down the middle and got infected. I've been dealing with it for months. I now remember to lotion my feet twice a day, my doctor trims my nails and I am careful to check my feet daily.

Charish 2008-07-15 06:52:22 -0500 Report

Skin care is very important and if necessary have your health care providers to clip your nails to avoid any chance of cutting to deep which could lead to infections as well. And make sure to keep the feet dry between the toes so that there is no moisture in that area. But any signs of infections or anything that could cause complications contact your healthe care provider ASAP and don't put it off thinking that it's okay. You have to know your body and the complications that can develope, but this is where you need to be aware of yourself and things will occur. There are some proventions that can be used to help avoid them if possible. And be sure to keep lotions that will help keep the skin soft in your troubled areas.


butterfly_8 2008-07-15 07:10:00 -0500 Report

You are 100% correct on proper nail care .I was getting foot care form the diabetic c0-0rdinator. My nails were filed too short and not straight across. Ingrown toenails occured, then infection. This led to the problems that began with my feet. I was not able to wear proper shoe. Missed proper exercise.This led too poor circulation. The problem escalated.

butterfly_8 2008-07-15 07:19:21 -0500 Report

Hi Amy,
I just finished your article it was great. I know complications do happen and I believe we need to be aware and try to do all that is possible to avoid them if we possibly can.

seawolf1944 2008-07-15 05:24:06 -0500 Report

Hello butterfly8. That was excellent advice on the care of feet. I nwas diagnosed as type2 six years ago. I picked up atheletes foot in rest room in a public park a few years ago. Needless to say,I tried to cure it by useing over the counter sprays and powders. They didnt work. It finally set up as a fungus infection in my blood. I started going to a Dermatologist about eight years a go. He put me on special antibiotic pill. I have to have lab work done every three months. My feet didnt really didnt seem tha bad until,I became a diabetic. Iwent for a check up this morning. My finger nails have cleared. The doctor said that,It may be another year befor,My feet are cured. Whether, A person is diabectic or not, They should never walk bare foot any where unless,It in the shower. If, A person is diabetic,foot infections can create painful problems,Which left untreated can lead to amputation of the foot or legs.I never walk through my own home without wearing a pair of good house slippers. I don't walk any where outside without wearing my diabetic shoes. Even with shoes diabetic must always be looking for broken glass.nails and other objects which might cut or pierce the flesh on our feet.Since,I was diagnosed,Diabetes has changed the skin on my arms and hands. The skin has grown very thin. I try not to allow my arms or hands to rub or brush againt surfaces. As Diabetics,We need to be very careful,What goes inside our bodies(meds or food) and what happens to the outside. I meant to say,I started seeing a dermatologist eight months ago. Alas,another senior moment. Aren't those moments great lol.

seawolf1944 2008-07-15 05:29:04 -0500 Report

please excuse my spelling in the foregoing statement.

gabrg 2008-07-15 05:38:06 -0500 Report

I'm glad to see this thread.. What about wee little children? I know foot protection is important, but is it really necessary for one so small to have something on all the time? Sometimes, ya know, kids just don't want anything on their feet. I've been keeping him in flipflops lately, but sometimes…

lanykins 2014-05-18 16:54:56 -0500 Report

I'm sorry for you wee little children. I remember going barefoot as much as I could. But a kid having diabetes is tough and not fair, but if you have it, you do need to protect your feet. Check between your toes if you wear flipflops. I'm sure you have heard so much you must do to take care of your little body. Remember, you want it to grow into a big, good body!

bropakit 2008-07-15 05:07:44 -0500 Report

I too am going to try sandles,I ordered a pair last week and waiting for them to come in.I like to go barefoot but can't not even in the house as my dogs leave toys to step on.I ave to put the no excuse plan into effect also.Any know of some to help with the needle sticking and burning in the feet.That is one of my biggest problems.Thanks for all the great info you people put out it is a lot of help when I get time to sit down and read it.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-07-15 04:29:28 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing this advice. It's interesting that I read an article not long ago that said sandals were good for diabetics because they allow your feet to breathe. Do you feel that sandals don't provide enough protection?

Just wondering.

lanykins 2014-05-18 16:59:24 -0500 Report

I also love to wear sandals. However, once I began getting diabetic shoes, which Medicare pays for, I was upset to learn that any store selling diabetic shoes will not sell sandals. They will only sell shoes that have the toes and heals protected. What a disappointment.

DiabetesDiva 2008-07-15 04:47:11 -0500 Report

I love wearing sandals in the summer. I have to make sure they have enough arch support, Since I've been a 2 just for a year, I don't know serious the foot thing is for me. Does it depend on the seriousness of the disease?



butterfly_8 2008-07-15 05:10:39 -0500 Report

The feet need to be protected from the beginning. That means we need to try and avoid poor circulation and nerve damage. If we follow all the information we recieve early on our chances of avoiding all complications are much better. But we cannot afford to choose to follow what we want and ignore others we do not like. That can be fatal where complications are concerned.That includes Heart failure,kidney failure and amputations.

butterfly_8 2008-07-15 05:05:11 -0500 Report

The diabetic foot care specialist and podiatrists all recommend, and I quote ," all diabetic patients need to pay special attention to the fit and style of their shoes and should avoid pointed -toe shoes,high heels thongs,and sandals". The material of the shoe also need to be considered.Canvas,leather,suede,and other materials that are breathable are recommended.. Sandals may allow you to stub a toe or recieve scratches you dont notice. The foot and especially the heel is notcompletely protected. Remember we are to wear white socks every day that may not be compatible with a sandal.Some people may require depth shoes and others custom-molded shoes.Footwear should be adjustable with laces,velcro or buckles. Medicare will pay for 80%of the payment allowed.If an individual qualifies he/she is limited to one of the following footwear categories within each calendar year:
1.One pair of depth shoes and three pairs of inserts.
2.One pair of custom-molded shoes,( including inserts) and two additional pairs of inserts.

JoJoCooks 2008-07-15 07:45:06 -0500 Report

I love sandals!! I do wear sneakers when I am walking around in the city..but if I am just hanging around..the sandals are on…don't think that I can ever give these up. :)

Bekki Diabetic
Bekki Diabetic 2009-09-09 08:45:56 -0500 Report

As much as we all love to go barefooted, wear sandals, the reality of it is that our feet are not protected and we need the security and protection of a closed shoe. It not only protects us from harming our feet but when you feet are exposed you may have a tendency for your feet to swell which puts lot of pressure on them.

liz2857 2008-07-14 18:55:11 -0500 Report

One of the things I do miss is going barefoot,I hate wearing things on my feet,they feel so confined,but no more barefeet for me :-( I'll keep in mind the toe wiggling and moving my ankles up and down a few times a day.I do check my feet every night.Good advise,Thanks

tater - 19868
tater - 19868 2008-07-28 05:30:21 -0500 Report

I hardly ever ware shoes.BUT I ve notice one of my big toes are getting numb on top? And my fingers on the tips have just for a minute went numb.I wonder sometimes if this could be a sign of suger an witch type?

butterfly_8 2008-07-28 07:16:30 -0500 Report

It is always advisable to chec with a Dr. to see what is causing the problem. It is also good advice to catch anything early to avoid complications later.It may not be diabetes if you have not been already diagnosed.