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Painful Diabetic Neuropathy: Looking after your feet

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painful diabetic neuropathy

If someone who has diabetes does not control their blood sugar level effectively, they may experience painful diabetic nerve pain. Diabetic neuropathy damages the nerves that send signals to your hands and feet, causing numbness or a sharp or aching pain.  

Around 50% of people with diabetes experience nerve pain. Those who have diabetes must take care of their body, in particular their feet, to avoid serious health problems which includes amputations. According to the NHS, people with diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than people without the condition. Despite this, however, many hospital visits for foot problems stemming from diabetes are preventable through basic foot care routines.  

Here are some tips for looking after your feet: 

  • Make sure that your shoes fit properly  

If shoes or socks are too loose, tight or rub, don’t wear them; they can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems. Wearing that shoes are broad fitting, have a deep and rounded toe area and are flat or low heeled will reduce the risk of developing foot problems. 

  • Do not walk barefoot  

This is particularly the case when walking outside in the garden or on the beach. This is to avoid cutting your feet. 

  • Do not cut off blood circulation 

Doing things like smoking and sitting with your legs crossed are not advisable for those with diabetes, to ensure good blood circulation. 

  • Be careful when trimming your nails 

Piercing the skin on your toes can lead to other injuries, particularly if they are cut down too short or cleaned with sharp objects. Washing your feet daily, but not soaking them, and cleaning them gently with a nail brush is best.  

Despite these precautions, those with diabetes may still experience painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) but there is currently an unmet need for effective and safe treatment for this condition. MAC Clinical Research is running PDN trials across several of its clinics involving a potential new treatment, which aims to relieve the pain associated with PDN.  

If you are aged between 18-80 and have experienced painful diabetic neuropathy, beginning in both feet, for at least the past 6 months, you could be eligible for our upcoming clinical trial. To find out more information about the trial and to register your interest visit: https://researchforyou.co.uk/study-2-diabetes/

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