Diabetes and Feet – how it affects you
A diagnosis of diabetes and foot problems brings with it much to consider and your feet may not be the first connection you make.
Nerve damage is experienced by about half of all people with diabetes. Although it can occur in any part of the body, 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 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.
Poor circulation puts you at higher risk for damage to your eyes, heart, kidney, brain, and limbs including, of course, your feet. Circulation issues can 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 chances of infection and high sugar levels promote bacterial growth so infections develop more rapidly. Trauma and badly fitting shoes can cause soft tissue infections that progress to diabetic foot.
The combination of nerve damage, poor circulation, and infections can lead to serious complications.
Roughly one in four people with diabetes will experience at least one foot ulcer and that’s a statistic not to be ignored. Even a blister in someone with diabetes can lead to infection and swelling. If the resulting ulcer is not treated and the infection spreads there becomes an increased risk of amputation.
Start your care routine now
There is no cure for diabetic peripheral neuropathy so the goal is to minimise pain and discomfort.
Seeing or even starting a conversation around Podiatry for your feet or a possibility of Chiropractic services, may relieve you of some symptoms.
If you have diabetes it’s recommended that you check and care for your feet daily. Conduct foot inspections, keep your feet clean and dry, wear properly fitting footwear, and visit a foot care professional such as a podiatrist regularly who can diagnose, assess, and treat problems as they arise.
Contact us now to arrange a visit to one of our clinics across southeastern Melbourne and ensure your feet are in good health and stay that way.