Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your body can’t make enough of the hormone insulin or your body has insulin resistance. If you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you probably know that low insulin or insulin resistance can result in high blood sugar levels. But, do you know about the risks for potential complications from diabetes involving your feet?
It’s important to understand the risks diabetes poses to your feet, because diabetic foot problems can become extremely serious, damaging your independence and quality of life.
Expert podiatrist Dr. Leonard Greenwald treats new and existing patients with diabetes from his practice in San Jose, California. Here’s what Dr. Greenwald wants you to understand about the complications you may face without the right diabetic foot care.
Diabetes: Threats to your feet
Diabetes can result in several types of harm or damage to your feet or lower extremities, especially if high blood sugar remains uncontrolled for a long time.
Because your feet are relatively far from your heart, and because your circulatory system has to fight the force of gravity to keep your feet supplied with blood and nutrients, your risk of complications when dealing with circulatory problems goes up when it comes to your feet.
People with diabetes may encounter slow-healing foot wounds or injuries, or an increased likelihood of infection from minor or common foot injuries like ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses. This is due to reduced blood flow in the area.
Peripheral diabetic neuropathy
Uncontrolled high blood sugar can also cause nerve damage. Peripheral diabetic neuropathy is the term used for the loss of sensation in your feet and lower extremities due to diabetes and elevated blood sugar.
If you develop this issue, you may not be able to notice pain, heat, or cold in your feet, increasing your risk of not being aware of injuries right away. You may also experience numbness or tingling.
The greatest risk diabetes poses for your feet is limb loss. An out-of-control infection from an unnoticed or slow-healing injury may mean that the only way to preserve your whole-body health is to amputate your affected foot.
Tragically, limb loss makes it a lot more difficult to keep diabetes under control, due to loss of independent mobility and increased challenges around exercise.
As you can see, the threats diabetes poses to your feet are real and can become very serious.
The benefits of diabetic foot care
Diabetes doesn’t have to mean long-term problems for your feet. Keeping your diabetes managed, and your blood sugar levels controlled, is one important part of your diabetes care and treatment.
In addition, you can benefit from regular at-home and in-office diabetic foot care. At home, check your feet every day for even small injuries. Wash your feet daily with warm, but not hot, water and soap. Keep your feet protected by wearing socks and well-fitting shoes, even indoors.
When you do notice foot issues, get in touch with Dr. Greenwald without delay. He helps your feet stay healthy, providing expert treatment for problems before complications develop.
With the right partner in diabetic foot care, you can avoid the serious problems that diabetes can create for your feet. Schedule your appointment with Dr Greenwald over the phone today. Or, use our online scheduling tool to book your visit.