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Why Do Your Feet Swell When You Have Diabetes


What To Do About Painful Or Uncomfortable Swelling In Diabetic Feet

Why do my feet swell?

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.

Why Causes Your Feet To Swell

When a localized area of your body swells, it can be an indication of a number of things. Inflammation and injury are common factors, but in some cases, its caused by edema. An edema is when an area of your body begins to swell due to the accumulation of fluid in your tissues. This can happen for a number of reasonsdiets that are high in sodium, staying in one position for too long, and even hormonal changes. Another cause of edema is diabetes. If you experience swelling with diabetes, it can be caused by something serious and should be examined and treated quickly.

What Can Help Diabetes Swollen Feet

6:46 PMdiabetes blue footdiabetes foot swollendiabetic swollen foothelp diabetes swollen feethigh blood sugarhigh blood sugar feet“Among all the complications from diabetes, amputation can be theworst,” said Dr. Craig Walker, of the Cardiovascular Institute of theSouth, in Houma, La “Amputation affects a person’s quality of life drastically, frommobility to self-image. It is also associated with a decreased life expectancySee Here Diabetes feet swollen

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Why Does Diabetes Cause Swollen Feet

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can come from a number of factors but the main concern is diabetic leg pain associated with neuropathy. Although its origin can be traced to several different factors, it is still a very serious condition which, left untreated, could result in irreparable nerve and blood vessel damage and even amputation.


It is a common known fact that diabetes can result in poor blood circulation. The problem is that the circulation appears in other parts of the body, as well. The reason that the legs are usually affected more is a decreased level of activity and prolonged sitting.

Another common occurrence is a pooling of blood in the lower extremities called peripheral vascular disease. This occurs when there is a thinning of the blood vessels or an obstruction of the large arteries of the legs. This, too, can be associated with being a complication of diabetes and a lack of exercise and mobility.

Poor circulation can also result in neuropathy or nerve damage. This happens because blood is not flowing properly and the diminished blood supply eventually begins to take its toll. Once the nerves are subjected to extreme damage, they become damaged forever. Unfortunately, by the time pain is felt, some damage has usually already occurred. Thats why it is important that you contact your doctor immediately once you begin to experience tingling, pain, or numbness.

Are There Different Types Of Diabetic Neuropathies

Why Do Your Feet Swell When You Have Diabetes ...

There are four different types of neuropathies:

  • peripheral neuropathies
  • proximal neuropathies
  • autonomic neuropathies
  • focal neuropathies

The type of neuropathy that causes sensitive feet is peripheral neuropathy. It is helpful to understand what kinds of neuropathy there are, because neuropathies dont affect just the arm, hands, fingers, or just the legs, feet, toes of people with diabetes. People with diabetes can get the other types of neuropathy as well.


For the purposes of our article, we will focus on peripheral neuropathy.

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Prepare An Epsom Salt Bath For Your Feet

Why not pamper yourself with a nice Epsom salt bath for your feet? Epsom salt is a popular natural remedy for a number of health issues. And it just so happens to help against diabetic foot problems such as swelling and pain. This is a great method of foot care.

If you happen to struggle with calluses as well, Epsom salt is here to help you. After enjoying your Epsom salt bath, your calluses will get softer. It is then that you use a foot file to eliminate any annoying and say goodbye for good.

Simply fill your tub with some Epsom salt and take a nice, long bath. Or soak only your feet for about 15 to 20 minutes. The nutrients that the Epsom salt has to offer will be absorbed through the skin and right into your swollen feet. A little reminder, though If you have diabetic neuropathy, do test out the water temperature first to prevent any foot injuries.


What Do John And Marys Stories Tell Us

John and Mary both made progress, and were able to have less pain with sensitive feet. You can learn about how other people handle their diabetes by joining a diabetes support group, or an online diabetes community.

Always take the advice of your doctor over any individual, as they have more medical expertise. If you go online, be safe, and do not share your personal information!

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Youre Taking Medication That Causes Swelling

Hormonal contraception and hormone replacement therapy aren’t the only meds that can cause foot swelling. So can many other drugs, and usually for different reasons. Pills to control blood sugar in people who have diabeteslike Avandia or Actos make it harder to get sodium out of the body, which leads to swelling.

The heart drugs known as direct vasodilators can also cause it. Vasodilation means the drugs help open up the blood vessels to make blood flow more freely. Examples are Loniten and Apresoline . Calcium channel blockers widen blood vessels by relaxing the muscles in vessel walls. This can also cause foot swelling, as can angiotensin receptor blockers, which prevent sodium from being flushed out of your body.


Experiment With Essential Oils

Why are My Feet Swollen?

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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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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Tips And Remedies For Reducing Swelling In Legs

Methods used to reduce swelling in legs depends on the causes. Tight sugar control is the key to avoiding complications with diabetes. Some types of swellings may indicate the serious conditions like heart or kidney failure and may require treatment with various drugs. The only specialist can decide on kind of medicines to prescribe for swelling. Usually specialist may give medicines to control blood pressure, increase urine flow , and medicines to improve metabolism of various organs. Non-pharmaceutical methods may also help to relieve the swelling in legs. Some of the non-medicament methods that can be used are given below:

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Check Your Feet Every Day

You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet. Checking your feet each day will help you spot problems early before they get worse. A good way to remember is to check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes. Also check between your toes. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, try using a mirror to see them, or ask someone else to look at your feet.

Look for problems such as

  • cuts, sores, or red spots
  • swelling or fluid-filled blisters
  • ingrown toenails, in which the edge of your nail grows into your skin
  • corns or calluses, which are spots of rough skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot
  • plantar warts, which are flesh-colored growths on the bottom of the feet
  • athletes foot
  • warm spots

If you have certain foot problems that make it more likely you will develop a sore on your foot, your doctor may recommend taking the temperature of the skin on different parts of your feet. A hot spot can be the first sign that a blister or an ulcer is starting.


Cover a blister, cut, or sore with a bandage. Smooth corns and calluses as explained below.

What Are Sensitive Feet

swollen feet  My FootDr

Patients complain about numbness and tingling in their feet and toes, or elsewhere, with a frequency that is more often than in similar reports of other diabetes complications they experience. Its no wonder these patients with diabetes have complaints of neuropathy symptoms.

Other than the tingling sensation or the numbness usually associated with neuropathy, those who have it complain about how much it hurts to put their socks and shoes on. The skin is sensitive to touch, to a point where one cant even brush up against anything.

It is likened to an over-sensitivity and mild pain that is uncomfortable. If it goes on day in and day out, it can be frustrating. Sometimes, a person with diabetes may also get other related foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the heel of the foot, and can be extremely painful. You will find it too sore to walk with plantar fasciitis. Even without heel problems, the generalized foot pain and soreness can become severe.

For more health related issues regarding diabetes read the following:


It has been found that as many as 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have neuropathy somewhere in their body. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you will experience symptoms of neuropathy somewhere in your body. Your risk of neuropathies also increases with age. High rates of neuropathy occur in older people who have had diabetes for several decades.

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Protect Your Feet From Hot And Cold

If you have nerve damage from diabetes, you may burn your feet and not know you did. Take the following steps to protect your feet from heat:

  • Wear shoes at the beach and on hot pavement.
  • Put sunscreen on the tops of your feet to prevent sunburn.
  • Keep your feet away from heaters and open fires.
  • Do not put a hot water bottle or heating pad on your feet.

Wear socks in bed if your feet get cold. In the winter, wear lined, waterproof boots to keep your feet warm and dry.

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.


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Tips To Treat Swollen Feet From Diabetes

    Back in 2018, up to 10.5% of the American population had been diagnosed with diabetes.

    Each year, we see a constant increase in new diabetes cases. This growing trend is reducing the quality of life and the health of more and more people worldwide. So, we are left fighting against it.

    Researchers and doctors everywhere are working tirelessly to find out more about the potential causes and treatments. Luckily, they have offered quite a few treatment options regarding diabetes swollen feet.

    This is probably one of the most common symptoms linked to diabetes and one of the most troubling ones. In todays article, we offer ten tips on how to relieve some of that swelling at home.


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    What Are The Signs Of Diabetic Feet?

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    Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

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    How Does Diabetes Cause Swollen Feet

    Diabetes can be divided into two categories type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. You develop type 2 diabetes when your blood sugar levels go up due to obesity or bad diet. This leads to several complications and most of these problems are associated with the feet.

    The reason is that diabetes can cause nerve damage, which in turn can affect the shape of your feet. The damaged nerves fail to send messages to your foot muscles, which leads to muscle weakness and imbalance. Overtime, the bones of your toes and feet may shift as well.


    Charcot’s Foot

    Some people also develop a condition called Charcot’s foot, which destroys the soft tissue and joints in the foot. During the early stages of Charcot’s foot, you notice fluid collecting in your joints and your bones eventually slip out of place.

    Due to nerve damage, most people do not sense any pain and they continue to use the affected foot, which aggravates the problems. You may even cause further damage to the joints by keep walking on your affected foot. Some of the most common symptoms of Charcot’s foot are swelling, red skin, warmth, and pain. You should not overlook these symptoms and talk to your doctor immediately who will treat the problem and make you use crutches for some time.

    Poor Circulation

    However Not Only This But Several Other Reasons Also Play A Huge Role In Causing Swollen Feet In Diabetics

    • Risk of infections
    • foot ulcers
    • gangrene

    can increase in diabetics with swollen feet. Hence, one should not ignore even a minor swelling in the feet. In most cases, when the swelling has just started, simple lifestyle changes can reduce swelling and provide relief to a great extent. Here are 7 tips for diabetics to reduce swelling in the feet.

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    Get Rid Of Your Extra Weight

    Obesity is a leading risk factor of diabetes. If you get rid of your extra weight, you will not only bring down your risk of chronic complications like heart disease but also reduce the pressure on your legs and joints. It will keep your blood sugar levels stable and you will be less likely to suffer damage to your blood vessels.


    Diabetes And Swollen Feet

    10 Reasons Why You Have Swollen Feet According to a Doctor ...

    Often it is seen that diabetics complain of swelling in their legs and feet. Do you the reason behind this? It happens due to improper blood circulation and the increased pressure damages blood capillaries. Later, these damaged capillaries cause:

    • peripheral edema
    • leakage of fluids into surrounding tissues

    which generally causes swelling.

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    Outbreak Of Small Reddish

    When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though.

    Eruptive-xanthomatosis

    These bumps appear suddenly and clear promptly when diabetes is well-controlled.

    When these bumps appear, they often look like pimples. Unlike pimples, they soon develop a yellowish color. Youll usually find these bumps on the buttocks, thighs, crooks of the elbows, or backs of the knees. They can form anywhere though. No matter where they form, they are usually tender and itchy. The medical name for this skin condition is eruptive xanthomatosis.

    Take action
    • Tell your doctor about the bumps because this skin condition appears when you have uncontrolled diabetes.
    • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes.

    How Do I Prevent Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

    In a few words good diabetes management. More specifically, through keeping your A1C below 7 percent, keeping your blood sugars in a target range, maintaining a healthy diet and keeping an active lifestyle. Getting the recommended amount of physical activity, and regular, daily foot care, also plays a factor in preventing diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Exercising helps for the blood to circulate better to areas which need it. By doing these things, you can prevent neuropathy, or decrease the symptoms.

    The first line of defense is to maintain those blood glucose levels in target range, and keep the A1C low. This protects blood vessels from damage. This has been proven through research time and again. Lower amputation rates today are the direct result of better diabetes management, better foot care, and prompt attention to foot problems.

    With better attention and care towards their diabetes, people are living longer. Thats more reason to take care of your feet if you have diabetes.

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