Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Swelling Of Feet And Ankles In Diabetics

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When To Consult A Doctor

If the swelling on your ankle, foot, legs, or arms is something newly experienced, or if it is chronic but doesnt improve even after these home remedies, see your doctor.

You should also seek urgent medical care if the swelling is only on one side of your body, as this could signify a blood clot in your veins.

Other causes for concern include the following:

  • Increasingly painful swelling

  • Reduced sensation in the legs or arms

  • Difficulty moving the affected limbs

  • Scarring between layers of tissue

  • Sores, bruises, and infections in the affected area

  • Shortness of breath

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Chest pain

The last three are medical emergencies that could signal a pulmonary embolism or heart attack. Always keep your doctor in the loop and follow their recommendations to manage your diabetes and reduce ankle swelling.

Limit Your Salt Intake

Did you know that the recommended guidelines state that an adult should not intake more than 2,300 mg salt per day? And yet statistics show that the average American eats around 3,400 mg salt per day. Diabetic patients and those with high blood pressure issues should always consume less salt through their diet. Salt will cause the leg swelling to worsen.

Instead of salty foods, choose foods that are naturally low in salt. Fresh fruits and veggies and unprocessed foods are great examples. Avoid fast and processed foods. These are the foods that are usually carrying the highest amount of salt within them-instead of salt, using spices such as rosemary, thyme, paprika, and garlic powder to give your meals a better taste.

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Experiment With Essential Oils

Diabetes And Swollen Feet And Ankles

Topical application of certain essential oils may also improve blood circulation. For example, lavender oil has been reported to help improve blood circulation and reduce edema.

Other essential oils that may reduce swelling include peppermint, chamomile, and eucalyptus, although there isnt enough research to prove the effectiveness of these remedies.

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When Should I See My Health Care Provider About Foot Problems

  • a cut, blister, or bruise on your foot that does not start to heal after a few days
  • skin on your foot that becomes red, warm, or painfulsigns of a possible infection
  • a callus with dried blood inside of it,which often can be the first sign of a wound under the callus
  • a foot infection that becomes black and smellysigns you might have gangrene

Ask your provider to refer you to a foot doctor, or podiatrist, if needed.

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet

Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet:

  • Diabetic neuropathy. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold, or pain there. This lack of feeling is called “sensory diabetic neuropathy.” If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. The muscles of your foot may not work properly because nerves to the muscles are damaged. This could cause your foot to not align properly and create too much pressure on one part of your foot.
  • Peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called “peripheral vascular disease.” If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing ulcers or gangrene .

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Is Swelling Ankles Indicative Of Diabetes

When you have diabetes, poor blood circulation often results in swollen feet and ankles. Swelling of the feet and ankles is caused by an accumulation of fluid in bodily tissue. Edema is the term used to describe the swelling, which is often caused by an underlying condition such as congestive heart failure, renal illness, or diabetes.

Smooth Corns And Calluses Gently

What Causes Ankles & Feet Swelling | Diagnosis & Treatment

Thick patches of skin called corns or calluses can grow on the feet. If you have corns or calluses, talk with your foot doctor about the best way to care for these foot problems. If you have nerve damage, these patches can become ulcers.

If your doctor tells you to, use a pumice stone to smooth corns and calluses after bathing or showering. A pumice stone is a type of rock used to smooth the skin. Rub gently, only in one direction, to avoid tearing the skin.


  • use corn plasters, which are medicated pads
  • use liquid corn and callus removers

Cutting and over-the counter corn removal products can damage your skin and cause an infection.

To keep your skin smooth and soft, rub a thin coat of lotion, cream, or petroleum jelly on the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion or cream between your toes because moistness might cause an infection.

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What Can I Do To Keep My Feet Healthy

Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should include foot care. A foot doctor, also called a podiatrist, and other specialists may be part of your health care team.

Include these steps in your foot care plan:

Common Causes Of Foot And Ankle Swelling Include The Following:

  • Ankle sprains and strainsTwisting your ankle can cause a sprain that damages the tendons and soft tissue causing severe swelling, pain, and discomfort.

  • Fluid retention Fluid retention in the soft tissues underneath the skin occurs more frequently as you age and may be exacerbated by high salt intake in the diet.

  • Systemic diseaseProblems with your kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and circulatory system can cause swelling in your extremities.

  • Being overweightCarrying a lot of extra pounds increases the stress and pressure on your feet and ankles along with swelling and pain.

  • Side effects of certain medicationsBlood pressure meds, antidepressants, and hormone replacement therapy meds can cause ankle and foot swelling.

  • Swelling that doesnt decrease after a day of resting could be a sign of a serious injury or other problems requiring the assistance of your foot doctor. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg, E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call 212-9940.

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    You Can Do Things To Mitigate Your Swelling Without A Diagnosis

    While it’s a good idea to get medical attention, there are a handful of things you can do to help your swelling go down. Verywell Health suggests elevating the affected body part, wearing support stockings or socks, exercising, and following a low-sodium diet. Additionally, Healthline recommends staying hydrated, losing weight, taking magnesium, soaking the affected area in an Epsom salt bath, trying essential oils, and being sure to get up and move every hour.

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    How Does Diabetes Cause Foot Problems

    Causes Of Swollen Ankles In Diabetics

    Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. They can happen over time when high blood sugar damages the nerves and blood vessels in the feet. The nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or a loss of feeling in your feet.

    If you can’t feel pain, you may not know when you have a cut, blister, or ulcer on your foot. A wound like that could get infected. The infection may not heal well because the damaged blood vessels can cause poor blood flow in your feet.

    Having an infection and poor blood flow can lead to gangrene. That means the muscle, skin, and other tissues start to die. If you have gangrene or a foot ulcer that does not get better with treatment, you may need an amputation. This is a surgery to cut off your damaged toe, foot, or part of your leg. It may prevent a bad infection from spreading and could save your life.

    But there’s a lot you can do to prevent a foot wound from becoming a major health problem.

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    What Are Diabetic Feet

    People with diabetes often have problems with their feet. Diabetic feet develop sores, deformities and infections more easily.

    If not treated quickly, a diabetic foot ulcer or blister can get infected. Sometimes a surgeon must amputate a toe, foot or part of the leg to prevent the spread of infection.

    Try To Lose Some Weight

    The more you weigh, the more pressure that your lower extremities are under. To help treat swollen feet, try to get to a healthy weight and maintain it. While it can seem overwhelming, making small healthy changes to your everyday routine can lead to big differences. Maintaining a healthy weight will make diabetes management easier, lower your risk of complications, and help you retain more stable blood sugar levels.

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    Causes Of Swelling In Your Feet & Ankles

    Severe swelling in the feet and ankles can be a sign of an injury or disease. Patients with diabetes should be especially careful to check their feet for any cuts or blisters that could lead to infection. Some minor foot and ankle swelling can also be a normal reaction to being on your feet all day at work or from playing sports or exercising. If you are concerned about excessive swelling in your feet and ankles see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis.

    How Is Diabetes Related To Ankle Swelling

    Conditions affecting the foot and ankle: Diabetes

    Diabetes is a chronic disease caused by the bodys inability to regulate and utilize circulating blood sugar. This can either be from an inability to produce enough insulin or from poor blood sugar regulation due to your bodys resistance to the available insulin .

    In both cases, diabetes results in abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood, which damages the lining of small blood vessels. Damage to vessels such as capillaries and veins results in poor circulation. It leads to edema and, on rare occasions, can also cause leakage into the surrounding tissue.

    Ankle swelling, therefore, is a result of the damage that high blood sugar does to your circulatory system. This will eventually lead to cardiovascular and kidney issues, which also cause edema and swollen feet and ankles.

    This problem is not exclusive to diabetics alone. Even healthy individuals can experience swollen ankles and feet after long periods of inactivity, wearing tight clothing, hormonal changes, excessive salt intake, or being overweight.

    When you suffer from diabetes, however, the effect of these factors could be exacerbated.

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    Elevate Swollen Legs Above Heart Level

    Use gravity to your advantage and elevate your swollen legs and feet above the level of your heart. This position helps the excess fluid accumulated in the lower limb circulate back towards the heart. You can put a pillow below your legs in bed. Or lay on a mat on the floor and put your legs up the wall. If youre sitting at your desk, try placing your feet on top of an ottoman. Start with 20 minutes session 2 or 3 times a day, and increase if needed.

    Are Eggs Beneficial To Diabetics

    Eggs, according to the American Diabetes Association, are a wonderful option for diabetics. This is partly because one big egg has around half a gram of carbs, which means they are unlikely to induce a spike in blood sugar. However, eggs are rich in cholesterol.

    I was just diagnosed with high blood sugar for the first time in my life. Im 48 years old. Diabetes runs in my family. I had no idea Id acquire it, but my doctor stated it was at an all-time high of 275+ and that I needed medication. I turned down the doctors offer and asked for a month to get it under control and rechecked. I got the pills here and began using them in conjunction with my diet. My doctor gave me the tester so I could monitor my blood level at home. After a week of taking it once in the morning before breakfast and once in the afternoon before lunch. Id check it in the evening. Surprisingly, it was at 102,105, and once at 98. And depending on what and how much I eat, it would rise to 120-128 after supper. A month later, I returned for my checkup, and everything was OK. Doctors say that if I stick to my healthy diet and exercise routine, Ill be OK. It actually works!! Ill be getting another bottle shortly.

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    What To Do About Painful Or Uncomfortable Swelling In Diabetic Feet

    It can be disconcerting to look down at your feet and ankles and almost wonder if they are truly yours!

    They may look swollen or puffy, and the skin may look stretched and shiny. You might even see some pitting in the swollen area.

    This swelling in the lower extremities, also known as peripheral edema, can be an uncomfortable condition. It may even interfere with your ease of movement and bring on other detrimental symptoms as well.

    Edema can be especially concerning to those who live with diabetes. It is often related to conditions that can slow and impede wound healing, and the presence of swelling itself can also significantly interfere with this process. If you have diabetes, you ideally want to keep swelling in the feet and ankles to a minimum.

    To best do so, it helps to understand just what is going on when your feet and ankles swell up.

    What Does Swelling Feet And Ankles Mean

    Causes Of Swollen Ankles In Diabetics

    Foot and ankle edema This swelling is caused by an accumulation of fluid in your tissues. This is often caused by congestive heart failure or a blocked leg vein. Swelling or puffiness of the tissue right under your skin, particularly in your legs or arms, are signs of edema. Skin that is stretched or that is glossy.

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