What Does Offloading Mean When It Comes To Diabetic Foot Health

Updated on November 15, 2021

Did you know that most research has shown that more than half of the people who have diabetes experience chronic high blood sugar levels and diabetic neuropathy in today’s time? And along with those complications come a significant percentage of diabetic people experiencing severe diabetic foot ulcers that lead to infections and amputations. It is pretty alarming how there’s a lot of diabetic patients who are going through these complex challenges and battles every minute of every day.

One of the problems causing these ulcers, which, as mentioned earlier, leads to infections or, worse, amputations, is poor blood circulation. When there is poor blood circulation in your feet, meaning they are not getting enough blood flow, wounds, sores, blisters, and any breakage of the skin within the area will not heal properly or as fast as they should. This usually happens when the arteries are getting narrow and hard. The hardening and narrowing of the arteries are as follows: Smoking, high amounts of blood fats, and high levels of glucose in the blood.

What is Offloading?

In general, when you hear offloading, it usually means to get rid of or relieve oneself of something. But what does this word mean for people who have diabetes?

One of the treatments that people who are experiencing poor blood circulation can do is offloading. Offloading is the term to describe methods of relieving abnormal pressure or weight in the feet to promote healthy circulation to heal diabetic foot ulcers.  

Types of Offloading

There are various ways son how a diabetic person can alleviate their feet from too much pressure or weight. The best thing to do would be to consult your doctors and health professionals, such as podiatrists, to know which method is the best for your specific scenario. But let’s name some commonly used types or forms of offloading.

  • Using crutches
  • Using a wheelchair
  • Total Contact Casting (TCC) – a specially designed cast, usually shaped like a boot depending on the patient’s foot, designed to take weight off of the foot
  • Removable Cast Walker

Other Ways to Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Here are some things you can do to prevent experiencing Diabetic Foot Ulcers:

  • Check your feet regularly. Schedule a time every day when you can check your foot for sores, blisters, wounds, calluses. And remember, don’t treat them by yourself no matter how minor it is
  • Bathe and clean your feet properly and then keep them dry. This also includes your toenails.
  • Wear diabetic socks and shoes. There are lots of footwear available that’s made especially for people with diabetes. These socks and shoes offer extra support and cushion and are non-binding.
  • Make sure you position yourself in a way that blood flows properly.
  • Check your blood sugar regularly.

Ultimately, the first thing you need to do is to document and report any signs of diabetic foot ulcer to your doctors and health professionals to assess better and investigate your situation and provide the correct diagnosis and prescribe the proper treatment. There will always be ways to improve your condition and maintain a good quality of life.

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