Our feet are a body part we often overlook. But when you have diabetes, your feet can tell you a lot about your overall health. A common problem patients with diabetes experience is hyperhidrosis in their feet – sweaty feet.
Sweating is typical in many circumstances. We sweat when we exercise, sit outside in the heat and wear thick socks in warm boots. But sometimes, sweating becomes abnormal and problematic. Excessively sweaty feet can be embarrassing and may indicate other issues with your health. What causes sweaty feet? And what can you do to stop it? The experts at Dr. Fedorchak explore the topic here.
Causes of Sweaty Feet: 3 Reasons Diabetics Have Hyperhidrosis
Low blood sugar
One of the most common symptoms of hypoglycemia – low blood sugar – is sweating. You sweat when your blood sugar is low because the body releases extra adrenaline hormones, which causes sweating. Once your blood sugar returns to normal levels, sweating should stop.
Fluctuating blood sugar
When your blood sugar levels swing between high and low, your body is in a constant stress response. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause persistent hyperhidrosis. If your A1C is high or your blood sugar numbers change rapidly, you’ll likely experience excessive sweating everywhere, including your feet.
Diabetes can cause the nerves in the feet to become damaged and break down. This process is called neuropathy. High blood sugar levels and high triglycerides, a type of fat, lead to neuropathy. Neuropathy symptoms include pain, numbness and sweating in the feet. As nerves become damaged, they stop supporting the sweat glands in the feat, which increases sweat production.
Proven Treatments for Sweaty Feet with Diabetes
When you have diabetes, you need to keep your feet dry and moisturized. If your feet are perpetually damp and sweaty, you can develop sores and fungal infections that are difficult to manage. However, if your feet are too dry, they might become cracked, leading to infection. Some at-home treatments for sweaty feet include the following.
- Wearing open-toed shoes: Opt for thicker, sturdier shoes with secure straps if you wear sandals. Wearing higher-quality sandals ensures your feet have the support and protection they need while allowing room to breathe.
- Changing socks often: Sweaty feet lead to damp socks, and leaving your feet in a wet environment increases your risk of sores. Change your socks frequently to prevent sores.
- Keeping feet clean: Although washing your feet won’t stop sweating, it will help with odors and cleanliness. That way, if your start sweating, your feet won’t also be dirty.
- Using antifungal products: When your feet sweat, you’re likely to develop foot funguses. Antifungal powders in your socks and shoes can help, and there are topical antifungal creams you can apply directly to your feet.
- Wearing the right socks: Some fabrics are more breathable, which reduces sweating and lets your feet air out. For example, wool and cotton are breathable fabrics that won’t hold moisture, while nylon and synthetic fibers trap moisture. So choose wool socks for winter and cotton ones for summer.
If you’re struggling with excessively sweaty feet, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. A podiatrist can help identify your unique case’s cause and best treatment. So contact the expert podiatrists at Dr. Fedorchak’s office today!