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As a diabetic, you know the importance of wearing socks and keeping your feet clean and protected. You have probably heard about compression socks and may be wondering if they would be good for you. You may also be wondering, what exactly are compression socks, and how do they work? In our post, we go over what compression is, how compression socks work, and the benefits of wearing compression socks for diabetes.
Compression promotes better health by aiding your body in better circulation. Your blood is pumped by the heart throughout your entire body, and back to your heart again. Once the blood has reached your feet and legs, your body is naturally going against gravity to try to move that blood back up to the heart. Compression applies pressure at specific points to help move the blood back up to the heart. You may be familiar with common poor circulation problems such as cold feet, varicose veins, or more serious conditions. Compression helps relieve these symptoms and prevent them from worsening by improving your circulation. When buying compression, make sure that it is graduated medical grade compression so you are getting the most benefits. Graduated compression socks apply the most amount of compression at the ankle and gradually decrease as it moves up the leg. This helps the blood flow back up to your heart for better circulation. Improved circulation can also relieve tired and achy legs, soreness in your legs and feet, prevent against varicose and spider veins, and more serious vein conditions.
You may experience some of the common symptoms associated with diabetes. One symptom, diabetic neuropathy, is the loss of feeling in your feet. This is a result of damage to your nerves and blood vessels. This means you are not able to feel hot, cold, pain, cuts, or blisters on your feet. This can be a serious problems for diabetics, as any cuts or sores can quickly turn into a serious infection. Compression socks can help keep your feet clean and protected, while also promoting better health in your legs. Many diabetic compression socks are made with non-irritating seams to prevent blisters. They also improve circulation in your feet and legs, which will help any cuts or sores heal more quickly. Some diabetic compression socks are made with moisture-wicking or antibacterial fibers that help keep your feet clean and eliminate any bacteria. Socks with these added features are especially great for diabetics as they help with proper foot care.
Another common symptom of diabetes is poor blood flow. Many people with diabetes can experience peripheral vascular disease, venous insufficiency, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), or other venous conditions, as a result of poor circulation. If you have poor circulation, any cuts or sores will take even longer to heal properly. This can become a very serious problem for those with diabetes. Diabetics are also at a higher risk of developing DVT. High glucose levels can cause dehydration. Dehydration thickens the blood and can lead to a DVT, which can be very serious. Because compression socks help open the valves in your legs to allow for better blood flow, they help prevent DVTs. Wearing compression also helps to prevent any other venous conditions from occurring or becoming worse.
Some diabetics experience uncomfortable swelling in their feet and legs as a result of poor circulation. Compression socks improve circulation, which reduces swelling and discomfort. Wearing compression throughout the day can help prevent swollen, achy legs and keep your legs and feet feeling energized and comfortable throughout the day.
While compression offers many different benefits, diabetics should be careful when wearing compression. Remember to always consult your doctor before wearing compression socks. Diabetic socks are specifically designed to be loose fitting and non-binding. Compression is naturally fitted and is tighter where the level of compression is greatest. It's important to consider your specific health when deciding whether or not you should wear compression. If you can wear compression, it is best to stick to a compression level that is not above 15-20 mmHg. The mmHg is the measure of the amount, or level of, compression. The higher the level, the more compression and tighter it will be. Anything over 15-20 should be doctor prescribed. For diabetics, sticking with a low compression level, such as 8-15 or 12-15 may be best.
Today, there are specific diabetic compression socks that are made for those with diabetes who want to improve their circulation. We've gathered some of our favorite compression socks that are specifically designed for diabetics!
VenActive Diabetic 15-20 mmHg Compression Socks
This pair of socks from VenActive provides the benefits of graduated compression in a diabetic sock. They are made with COOLMAX fibers that keep moisture away from your skin, helping to keep your feet cool and dry. The moisture wicking fibers, combined with graduated compression to improve circulation and relieve tired, achy, and swollen legs and feet make these especially great for those who are more active. With a reciprocated heel, seamless toe and cushioned foot bed, these socks reduce friction and prevent blisters. The 15-20 mmHg compression is a great, mild compression level for everyday wear.
Jobst Sensifoot 8-15 mmHg Diabetic Knee High Socks
The Jobst Sensifoot socks are specifically designed for those with foot problems or sensitive feet. They include a non-irritating flat toe seam, extra padding in the foot, heel and toe, and a non-constricting design for better comfort. Acrylic multi-fiber yarns with antibacterial and antifungal finish help wick away moisture from your skin to keep your feet clean and dry throughout the day. Made with 8-15 mmHg compression, this pair offers a very mild compression level for those who want the benefits of improved circulation with a slightly lighter feeling. Also available in Crew Socks.
Dr. Comfort Diabetic 15-20 mmHg Knee High Support Socks
This pair from Dr. Comfort offers a durable and lasting diabetic compression sock. Unique Bamboo Charcoal Fibers include moisture wicking and anti-microbial features to keep your legs and feet clean, dry and cool throughout the day. With 15-20 mmHg compression, these socks help prevent swelling in your legs, feet and ankles and promote better circulation. They also include a seamless construction, signature non-binding comfort band, and extra padding for all day comfort.
Juzo Silver Sole 12-16 mmHg Diabetic Knee High Socks
This pair from Juzo combines the benefits of a diabetic compression sock with X-STATIC silver fibers. The silver fibers in the sole naturally eliminate bacteria and fungi to keep your feet clean and prevent infections, while also eliminating odor. The pillowed sole and added cushioning reduces blisters and callouses, while the channeled toe seam reduces irritation. Made with 12-16 mmHg compression, this pair offers a very mild compression level. Also available in Crew Socks.
Sigvaris Eversoft Diabetic 8-15 mmHg Knee High Compression Socks
This Sigvaris Eversoft Diabetic sock is the ideal sock for diabetics with swelling and poor circulation. They combine a light and mild 8-15 mmHg compression level with all the benefits of a diabetic sock. Non-binding top band, thick padded soles, heels, and toes, and a flat toe seam help protect your feet while preventing any friction or irritation. They are also made with drirelease yarns to eliminate odor, reduce the risk of infection, and keep your feet dry.
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