Diabetes and Your Feet
A diagnosis of diabetes brings with it much to consider, so diabetes and your feet may not be the first connection you make.
But nerve damage is experienced by about half of all people with diabetes. And the feet and legs are the most often affected.
This is why it’s important to check your feet daily and consult with a professional early to help detect changes and prevent foot complications.
Nerves can be damaged by extended periods of high glucose resulting in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. It’s commonly first seen in feet and can cause sensitivity, discomfort, and pain.
It can also present as loss of sensation and numbness which can lead to problems of balance and coordination and lead to complications such as ulcer formation in the feet.
Poor circulation puts you at higher risk for damage to your limbs and feet.
Poor circulation can also be caused by high blood glucose levels damaging the lining of blood vessels.
In addition, diabetes increases your risk of peripheral arterial disease which narrows blood vessels -also resulting in poor circulation.
High blood sugar levels weaken the immune system response, which increases the susceptibility to infections.
Peripheral nerve damage and poor blood circulation in your feet increase the chance risk of infection and high sugar levels promote bacterial growth, so infections develop more rapidly.
Trauma and badly fitting shoes can also cause soft tissue infections that progress to more serious infections.