Living with diabetes means a whole bunch of adjustments to your daily life, from changing up your dietary and exercise habits to regularly checking your blood sugar levels. Did you know that people living with diabetes also need to take extra care with their feet?
The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can take a toll on your feet. Experienced podiatrist Leonard Greenwald, DPM, can advise you on the health of your feet if you’re living with diabetes, and recommend ways to protect your feet.
Dr. Greenwald sees new and existing patients from his medical practice in San Jose, California. Here’s what Dr. Greenwald and our team want you to understand about diabetic foot care.
Diabetes and foot risks
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body struggles to regulate your blood sugar due to issues with producing or processing insulin. Chronic high blood sugar negatively impacts your body in multiple ways.
One of the harmful effects of chronic high blood sugar targets the nerves that relay sensations from your extremities — your hands and feet — to your brain. Nerves in your feet are especially likely to suffer from dysfunction as a result of high blood sugar and diabetes.
Nerve damage due to diabetes is known as diabetic neuropathy, and in your extremities as peripheral diabetic neuropathy. When you don’t have full sensation in your feet, you run serious health risks. Simple injuries or infections can develop into severe issues without careful attention.
The need for diabetic foot care
Without good diabetic foot care, the health and integrity of your feet can become compromised. In severe cases of untreated infection, you could even face limb amputation. Dr. Greenwald provides the preventive care you need to avoid the worst-case scenario. He can address existing infections and, in severe cases, provide needed surgical treatment.
Dr. Greenwald recommends that his diabetic patients practice preventive foot care. This includes always protecting your feet with socks and shoes, watching out for extremes of heat and cold that you won’t feel, and conducting regular, thorough cleanings and examinations of your feet.
Even slight issues can snowball for people living with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Watch out for issues like dry skin, fungal or nail infections, blisters, corns, bunions, hammertoes, and athlete’s foot. Catching problems early and maintaining good foot health are essential to preserve and protect your mobility and independence.
If you have diabetes and notice visual changes to your foot shape, swelling, drainage, or other foot problems, get in touch with Dr. Greenwald right away. Call our office to set up an appointment or use our online booking system to find a date and time that work best for you.