If you have diabetes, then you may know that it is extremely important to keep your feet in good health. Diabetic neuropathy issues, ulcers, fluid retention, and pain are all serious problems that need to be addressed. One of the best ways to address foot health concerns and to also encourage good health is to make sure that blood is flowing properly through the feet. In other words, you want to encourage good flood flow. Keep reading to learn about some tips that can help you with this.
Keep Your Feet Warm
Blood does not flow properly through the feet if they are cold. Cold temperatures cause the blood vessels to narrow and constrict. This occurs most significantly across the extremities so the body can retain a constant temperature along the core of the body. Blood flow reduces along the hands and feet first, and limiting the blood means that your feet do not receive the oxygen and nutrition they need to remain in good health.
The easiest way to encourage blood flow is to keep your body warm and this means retaining a warm temperature in the home. Keeping the thermostat at a moderate temperature close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit is a good choice. Also, you want to wear warm socks on your feet. Since diabetes places you at a greater risk of developing sores on the feet, your socks should be able to keep your feet dry. Wool socks are best for warm and dry feet. These socks wick moisture away and retain your body heat.
Some thick wool socks can make your feet feel a bit clammy. The prevent this issue, go with thinner merino wool socks instead of the thicker 100% wool varieties.
Keep Your Feet Up
If you want to encourage good blood flow to the feet, then you should put your feet up whenever you are sitting. Your feet should either be higher than or level with your heart. If your feet are lower than your heart, then the blood needs to work hard to move back to the heart. Blood vessels and valves inside the arteries and veins become weak as you age and blood can easily flow backward and pool in the feet.
Pooling and poor blood circulation is less likely if blood can move laterally or downward to reach the heart. This is only possible if your feet are elevated.
When you put your feet up, also make sure to wiggle your toes and more your feet around a bit. This movement encourages good blood flow as well and it is especially important if you are feeling some of the symptoms of poor circulation like tingling, numbness, cramping, and pain in the toes.