Why hot water bottles or heating pads can be harmful for diabetics
What better than a hot water bottle or electric blanket, especially in winter, to keep your toes warm or just relax that stiff back after a hectic day at work? But it turns out that something that is so commonly used by people around the world can be a big health hazard to those who have Diabetes.
Diabetes is a complicated disease, and most of the time, people do not have any symptoms associated with the onset of the disease course. And if long-standing diabetes (type 1 or type 2 diabetes) has begun to affect your nerves, the skin’s sensation for hot or cold temperatures decreases. In such situations, the use of hot water bottles or electric blankets can cause severe burns, which can be quite problematic.
This is also why diabetic patients are recommended to keep their toes covered when going for a walk or even inside the house, especially if they are known to have problems with neuropathy.
Buy now | Our best subscription plan now has a special price
One of the most common complications associated with diabetics is tenderness and lack of sensation of pain, a condition where even the slightest injury, eruption, or the allergy can develop into gangrene, which can take months to recover or, in the worst situations, may require surgery/amputation. It is because it has increased blood sugar level lead to progressive weakening of the muscles and can cause crushing of the skin and subcutaneous tissue – this is why diabetics are advised not to use hot compresses.
Taking small precautions goes a long way to leading a healthy life with diabetes. Diabetic neuropathy can initially start with simple symptoms like tingling or numbness in the toes or a feeling like you’re walking on them. cotton. It can also cause a sharp burning sensation in the feet, usually at night. These symptoms should not be ignored and you should see your doctor if you experience them. These are treatable problems and if treated in time can prevent long term problems with diabetic foot etc.
To avoid developing diabetes-related complications, in addition to controlling your blood sugar, also make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are under control. Smoking also increases the risk of diabetes-related complications, so quitting smoking when you have diabetes is paramount.
Effective diabetes management and proper care can prevent surgery/amputation and minimize the risk of infection. It is advisable to be very careful if you suffer from diabetes. Wash your hands and feet daily with warm water and soap and dry them properly. Apply moisturizer twice a day. Always keep an eye on your skin for rashes, blisters or cuts. For all pain, ulcer, or darkness – time is key. Patients should see a vascular surgeon as soon as possible to ensure adequate blood flow and advise on wound care if needed.
So next time you’re looking for that hot water bottle or electric blanket, keep that in mind!
(Dr. Hemi Soneja is Senior Consultant – Endocrinologist at Max Hospital, Gurugram)
📣 For more lifestyle news, follow us on Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss the latest updates!