If you suffer from diabetes, your doctor has likely warned you about the variety of complications that can arise in your feet.
WebMD warns of dangerous chronic conditions like neuropathy and vascular disease. But these are not the only foot-related risks. According to American Family Physician, diabetic foot infections are among the leading causes of hospitalization and amputation. If you have diabetes, you have a 15 to 25 per cent risk of developing a diabetic foot infection.
Here's what you need to know for treating diabetic foot infections at home.
1. Aloe vera. This anti-inflammatory and analgesic plant has the added benefit of bringing soothing relief to ailing feet. Organic Facts recommends applying aloe vera gel directly to the sore and drinking aloe vera juice to promote the immune system in the fight against infections.
2. Cocoa shea butter. Moisturizing daily is key to preventing ulcers, especially in places that tend to dry out quickly, like the heels. The Fit Indian recommends cocoa shea butter for its moisturizing properties and rich source of antioxidants and vitamin E.
3. Rhubarb root. This unlikely home remedy is more effective than some others because it contains a somewhat magic anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial compound known as emodin. Applying rhubarb root directly to the site of the ulcer can neutralize the infection and prevent complications, says Organic Facts. Look for the root in your neighborhood health foods store.
4. Inspired home cooking. According to Organic Facts, soy and ginger are both useful for stimulating blood flow. To make sure the immune compounds that heal infections reach your feet, try cooking at home using soy and ginger. We recommend starting with this recipe for salmon from BBC Good Food and another using chicken from the Food Network.
5. Honey. It's rare a study reports "excellent results." But in the case of this 2009 study, applying honey-soaked dressings to diabetic ulcers did, in fact, yield "excellent results." To do this at home, begin my cleaning the wound. Then apply all natural honey directly to the wound and cover with gauze. Change the dressing daily until the sore heals.
6. Olive oil. According to a study published last year in the Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, applying olive oil to the site of a diabetic foot infection once a day for four weeks can effectively treat the wound.
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