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Diabetes 2 Patients Benefit From Mild Compression Stockings | Diabetes Daily Post
“Important News” Type 2 Diabetes Patients Benefit From Mild Compression Stockings

Type 2 Diabetes Patients Benefit From Mild Compression Stockings

Traditionally, compression therapy stockings were not used or recommended for patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Although patients wearing compression stockings may find relief from the discomfort of  edema (swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in body tissues, most commonly noticed in feet, ankles and legs), physicians were concerned of increasing circulation problems for patients with Type 2 Diabetes  who have peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

“Type 2 Diabetes puts you at high risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a disease of leg arteries,” says Dr. Stephanie Wu, Associate Dean of Research, Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, Illinois.

“PAD takes place when blood vessels in the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits and blood flow to the feet and legs decreases,” continues Dr. Wu. “It is similar to coronary artery disease in which arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle are clogged except with PAD, it’s the arteries leading to the legs and feet that become clogged with cholesterol-rich fatty deposits, collagen and other proteins gradually accumulating and thickening the arterial walls. These fatty deposits build up in the inner linings of the artery walls of the legs, narrow the vascular channels and obstruct blood flow.  Compression stockings were regarded as a danger because they may decrease blood circulation even more in the body’s lower extremities.”

In response to recent research focusing on Type 2 Diabetes patients and compression stockings that perspective on compression stockings is changing. Mild compression therapy does decrease the swelling in diabetes patients with edema without worsening any vascular conditions such as PAD.

“We recently completed a pilot study with 20 patients using Sigvaris Diabetic Compression Socks with mild compression (18-25 mmHg) to reduce edema in patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Wu, lead author in the study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Issue 3, May, 2012. “The use of the Sigvaris mild compression diabetic socks showed statistically significant decreases in calf, ankle and foot swelling. As a result patients are more likely to increase their activity level which improves their overall diabetic situation simply because their legs no longer swell and ache.”

As a result of these findings, Sigvaris has launched a new Diabetic Compression Sock specifically designed for diabetic patients with the optimum amount of graduated compression for their medical condition.  It features 18-25 mmHg of graduated compression, a non-binding band, flat toe seam, soft padding and a moisture wicking material.

“The second phase of the research is underway,” explains Dr. Wu. “We will work with more patients and randomized samples.”

Facts you should about Sigvaris Diabetic Compression Socks:

  • Depending upon your health insurance policy, the cost or partial cost of these socks may be covered. Check with your agent and carrier.
  • The socks could last as long as 6 months or more depending upon how well you take care of them.
  • How to launder socks:

Wash by hand or in a linen bag for the machine

Do not use fabric softener

Do not put in the dryer

Do not dry clean

Diabetic compression socks are especially designed to help promote the health of diabetic feet and legs by improving the blood circulation in the legs. They are generally knitted with a seamless construction in a contoured way for a close fit with no bunching or binding. They also have soft padded soles to prevent blisters and provide additional protection for the feet. Diabetic compression socks differ from typical diabetic socks because typical diabetic socks offer no compression other than what it takes to hold the socks up, often resulting in the socks slipping down and bunching up at the ankle.

The research presented here was based on using Sigvaris products. To determine which brand and what type of compression sock is best for you talk to your doctor or pharmacist. You may also want to visit a medical supply retail store and find out what they offer for diabetes 2 patients.

Ruthan Brodsky

Sources: The American Diabetes Association   www.diabetes.org

Vascular Disease Foundation, call 888.833.4463 or visit us online at www.vasculardisease.org

Health Writer (member American Medical Writers Assoc.)

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