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From Jersey City, New Jersey, USA:

Why can't people with diabetes use a foot massager to warm their feet?


Problems with the feet are one of the most common long-term complications of diabetes. People with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to foot problems for several reasons:

  1. The circulation is very often decreased in older people, especially where the blood vessels become narrow at the end of the feet. Foot injury can result from heat. This includes sunburn, electric heating pads, hot and warm water bottles, walking bare foot on a hot pavement, or bath water that is too hot.

  2. In people with diabetes, the degrees of blood vessels narrowing may be even greater for their present age.

  3. In diabetes, sensation is often decreased because of neuropathy.

These three factors along with increased tendency for infection in poorly treated diabetes provide a background for trouble. Never apply heat of any kind to the feet!


Original posting 8 Dec 1998
Posted to Daily Care and Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:02
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