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• Health risk of walking barefoot by diabetes patients. Image credit: Everyday Health
Health experts have cautioned persons living with diabetes against going without footwear even indoors, noting that doing so could expose them to serious injuries that could result in serious complications later.
The experts said foot care is an essential part of diabetes management, adding that wearing shoes or other footwear is crucial to protecting the feet of diabetes patients.
One of the experts, a Consultant Endocrinologist, Dr. Oluwarotimi Olopade, said the importance of proper foot care cannot be over-stressed in diabetes care, noting that doctors always tell patients living with diabetes to avoid being barefooted even at home.
Olopade, who is also a diabetologist said wearing footwear is crucial to prevent persons living with diabetes from getting injured which they most times may not be aware of.
According to him, these sorts of injuries, no matter how small, can evolve into bigger issues which can eventually cause the person’s foot to be amputated.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with PUNCH HealthWise, the diabetologist who works with Lagos University Teaching Hospital, urged diabetes patients to always wear footwear to avoiding getting develop foot injuries that can cause serious complications.
He explained that this is because “by the time you are making a diagnosis of the disease in a patient, macro and microvascular complications have started occurring hence they might have stopped having sensation underneath their feet.
“They may not have feelings in their feet; they may not have a blood supply to the legs and all that. So, any injury can lead to poor wound healing or non-healing, gangrene. And if there’s gangrene, you’d have to chop off the foot.”
According to a recent article published online by Mayo Clinic – a medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research, gangrene is the death of body tissue due to a lack of blood flow or a serious bacterial infection. It commonly affects the arms and legs, including the toes and fingers.
Any condition that can damage the blood vessels and affect blood flow, such as diabetes or hardened arteries (atherosclerosis), increases the risk of gangrene, the site noted in the article.
Speaking further, Olopade urged persons living with diabetes to make sure that they prevent pebbles from entering their shoes, noting that such tiny stones can cause micro-injuries which can later develop into bigger injuries to the person.
Speaking in the same vein, popular medical expert, Dr. Chinonso Egemba also reiterated that persons living with diabetes should never walk barefoot.
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