How Diabetes Can Impact Your Feet

Since diabetes centers on sugar levels in your blood, many people aren’t immediately aware that the disease increases their risk of developing foot problems. The connection isn’t immediately obvious until you understand the impact that elevated sugar levels have on your body.

There are, unfortunately, two major diabetes complications that can affect your feet. Without treatment, these can even lead to amputation if they reach advanced stages. Controlling blood sugar levels is a very important part of maintaining good foot health.

Diabetic neuropathy

In medical terms, nerve damage is called neuropathy. High levels of blood sugar can, over time, cause damage to nerves throughout your body. In particular, your extremities can feel the effects, a condition called peripheral neuropathy.

The first signs of diabetic peripheral neuropathy are usually a general loss of feeling in your feet, as though you’re wearing socks, even when you’re not.

This becomes problematic when your feet are injured, but you’re not aware of it. If a pair of shoes irritates your feet, for example, you may not notice. Sores can form and worsen, all of this without any pain. This is even more troublesome if you develop the second major diabetes complication.

Peripheral vascular disease

Elevated blood glucose levels also damage the walls of your blood vessels. Once again, tissue in your extremities bears the brunt of the effects. Reduced blood flow in your feet and legs can prevent normal healing, since the nutrients delivered by your blood can’t reach all areas of your feet.

This could lead to infections and ulcers, and if your nerves are also compromised by neuropathy, these conditions can develop quickly and without your knowledge.

Symptoms of diabetic foot problems

Since your foot issues can result from a combination of these two issues, you may experience a variety of symptoms, and they may not be the same as other diabetics. Some of the common foot symptoms caused by diabetes can include:

Diabetic foot care

Since your feet are vulnerable to the side effects of diabetes, adding Progressive Podiatry to your diabetes management team is an excellent choice, particularly if you’ve already started to experience the effects of diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

Checkups with a podiatrist augment your home care efforts to make sure that small problems don’t become major.

Home care basics include:

Whenever you have a question about diabetes and foot health, it’s time to contact Progressive Podiatry at any of their three Brooklyn, New York, offices. You can call the office or use the online booking tool to schedule your appointment. There’s no good time to put off foot problems when you have diabetes. Call today.

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