When Diabetic Patients Need Compression Socks

Dan SteffesMar 11, '14

As someone diagnosed with diabetes, you have been working closely with you physician, diabetic educator and pharmacist  on how to best take care of you health with an important emphasis on your legs and feet. You have been told to inspect your feet and legs daily and you may even need to wear special shoes and socks specifically designed for diabetic patients. 

People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause peripheral edema (swelling) in their feet, ankles and legs. There are many causes of peripheral edema, not necessarily related to diabetes, such as standing or sitting for long periods of time, physical inactivity, heredity, pregnancy, surgery and trauma and some illnesses. Peripheral edema can also be associated with more serious conditions - many of which can be associated with diabetes complications such as heart disease, venous insufficiency, and kidney disease. Certain diabetes medications can also cause edema.

Did you know there is a difference between a diabetic sock and diabetic sock? New research shows that, for many diabetic patients, compression socks can help keep legs and feet healthy, as well as allow the patient to have a more active lifestyle. Wearing graduated compression socks and hosiery has been a mainstay for reducing and maintaining edema in people since the 1950s. 

WU MD, Stephanie, et al. Control of Lower Extremity Edema in Persons with Diabetes with Mild Compression Socks: A Pilot Study. 2011