What Clothing Features Should Diabetics Look For?
According to the World Health Organization, diabetes could be the 7th leading cause of death across the world by 2030. Worse still, the statistics show that the number of Americans with diabetes could record a rise of up to 1 in 3 by 2050.
Because the stakes are already too high and the number of affected people devastating, there are possible ways of alleviating the symptoms of diabetes and perhaps even reach a cure. People living with diabetes have a lot to overcome. Maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping up with treatment plans are some of them. Type 1 diabetics, for instance, administer treatment through wearing an insulin pump or injecting insulin into their skin. Although combining exercise, the right diet, and oral medication can at times be sufficient for some diabetics, injections may still be required.
Just because you are diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, it does not mean that you cannot start pumping the breaks. As the levels of your blood sugars begin to climb up to dangerous levels, you can embrace various lifestyle changes to get them trickling down. Let’s start with what you wear every day. For many, fashion may not come across as a major concern, but for diabetics it does. This is where proper diabetes clothing comes in. For people with diabetes, deciding what to wear each morning can be complicated. Look for diabetic clothing products with protective sleeves, arms and leg protectors for improved circulation.
Diabetic Foot Problems and what to Wear
Understand that poorly controlled blood glucose can greatly contribute to poor circulation. This can then cause major damages in various parts of your body especially the vessels and nerves that go to your feet. Neuropathy is a condition that sets in when nerves are damaged. Diabetic neuropathy causes a lack of feeling in the feet, making it difficult for you to realize a cut or an injury. Because diabetics suffer from poor circulation, cuts take too much time to heal. Left untreated, an injury or a cut can result in a dangerous infection that could lead to amputation. The following are some of the foot problems diabetics suffer from:
- Fungal infections
Although many people do not consider diabetic shoes and socks important, they play a crucial role in promoting health and preventing complications associated with diabetes. Wearing improper footwear can lead to painful foot ulcers if you are suffering from diabetes. Wearing the wrong footwear causes nerve damage which can then change the form of your feet. If you have diabetes, you are at risk of developing a deformity that can lead to inward bending of the toenails, referred to as hammertoe.
Diabetic Shoes can Prevent Amputations
For people living with diabetes, there is no perfect footwear, but there are shoe designs that can help delay or accelerate the onset of ulcers. When shopping, look for shoes that are not too loose or too tight. You can only keep your feet healthy by wearing well-fitting shoes. Features to look for include:
- Leather, suede, or canvas material
- Lightweight shoes
- Shock-absorbing sole
- Shoes with laces for easier loosening or tightening
- Solid back for better support
Shoes a diabetic must avoid include:
- Unfitting shoes – These could injure your feet
- Pointed toes – These restrict circulation
- Shoes lacking arch support – These could cause tissue breakdown in your feet
If you have diabetes but need to wear heels, ensure they have a rounded–toe style, must be below 2 inches, and should be worn sparingly.
Who should Wear Diabetic Socks?
Diabetic socks are purely designed for healthy blood circulation. Some are moisture-wicking, others non-elastic, and do not constrict the foot. Because they are light and breathable, they can prevent the development of clots, which is great for pregnant women with gestational diabetes.
How do you know if diabetic socks are meant for you? If you experience the following:
- Feet sensitive to changes in temperature
- Constant swelling of feet
- Nerve damages
- Frequent injuries on your feet
Diabetic socks would be very beneficial for your feet.
If you do not have any of these symptoms, any sock would suffice. Do note that you should avoid very tight or loose socks, and those with uncomfortable seams.
Which are the Best Diabetic Socks?
Socks designed for diabetics prevent blisters and reduce the pressure exerted to the legs and feet. The socks you choose should be seamless and non-elastic for maximum comfort. Because diabetes exposes your feet to swelling, the non-elasticity feature should help prevent constriction.
The seamless feature minimizes neurological pain and friction to the nerves. Wearing tight socks can lead to limited circulation in a diabetic person. Socks with the right features play a crucial role in preventing future amputation or even death resulting from an injured foot.
White socks are also better options as it would allow you to spot blood from an injury quickly, especially if you have nerve damage.
Should Diabetics Wear Slippers?
Diabetics can wear slippers but with limitations. First, the choice of slippers a person with diabetes uses should offer more than just comfort. Diabetic slippers should contain cushioning to provide support to the knees, back, and the hips. Switching from shoes to slippers when indoors can help your feet to dry and prevent possible infections.
Because your feet shed skin cells constantly, purchase a pair of new slippers each year. The dead cells are microscopic and tend to build up in your sandals. Because diabetics are prone to nerve damage meaning they feel pain when it is too late, they should opt for closed or open-back slippers to protect their feet from sharp objects.
If you have diabetes and do not know the clothing to wear, you might want to get some insight from Natalie Balmain, a budding fashion designer living with type 1 diabetes. There are many styles and designs of clothing to choose from. Whichever brand or size you prefer, you could buy just one pair first to see how you like it.