Why You Need a Podiatrist if You're a Diabetic

Are you one of the 30 million Americans living with diabetes? As a diabetic, you have an elevated risk of much more than high blood sugar. For about half of all diabetics, debilitating foot pain is one of the unpleasant complications of this chronic condition.  

Fortunately, having a podiatrist on your care team can help prevent diabetic foot issues and the associated complications. Board-certified podiatrists Evan Breth, DPM, and Neha Khanna, DPM, and the team at Progressive Podiatry PLLC, are committed to helping patients with the best in diabetic foot care.

The link between diabetes and your feet

The root cause of most diabetic foot problems is uncontrolled blood sugar. For diabetics, having more glucose circulating through your system causes damage to your nerves and circulatory system. The nerve endings in your feet are among the hardest hit.

Because of this damage, diabetics have a higher risk of developing diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. These, in turn, put you at greater risk for even more foot problems. 

Here’s a closer look at some diabetes-related food conditions:

Diabetic neuropathy

Nerve damage from diabetes, or diabetic neuropathy, causes pain, weakness, and tingling. More dangerously, it also reduces feeling in your feet. This means you might get a cut or minor injury without realizing it, increasing your risk of infection. About half of diabetics experience some nerve damage.

Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease occurs when uncontrolled diabetes causes damage to your circulatory system and blood vessels. As a result, your arms and legs don’t get enough blood. Without enough blood flow, wounds take longer to heal and have a higher risk of getting infected or suffering from gangrene, when the tissue dies due to lack of blood flow.

Diabetic foot ulcers

Around 10% of diabetics develop diabetic ulcers. A foot ulcer is a sore, usually on the ball of your foot or bottom of your big toe, caused by your feet rubbing up against your shoes. If not treated right away, an ulcer can turn into an infection. This can cause other complications and even lead to amputation.

Calluses and corns

Calluses and corns are as common for people with diabetes as they are with everyone. But the buildup of skin that causes calluses and corns is more difficult for diabetics with neuropathy to feel, meaning they can turn into something more serious because of infection if not cared for properly by a podiatrist.

How a podiatrist helps diabetics

The team at Progressive Podiatry PLLC is dedicated to providing excellent diabetic foot care. The best way to prevent foot complications from diabetes is to visit us every three months for a diabetic foot exam. With regular preventive exams, our team can address any problems early, before complications start.

Sometimes you may need more urgent care. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call to schedule an exam as soon as possible:

If you have diabetes and want to learn more about foot care for diabetes, the team at Progressive Podiatry PLLC is here to help. Call the Brooklyn, New York, office nearest you, or book an appointment online now.

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