A lifelong chronic disease caused by high levels of blood sugar, diabetes hampers your body’s ability to fight off infection. Diabetics are at a high risk for experiencing complications when it comes to foot health, because of the way the disease attacks the body.
Diabetes can damage your nervous system—and often, this damage begins with your extremities. In addition, the disease impairs the normal sweat and oil production that keeps the skin of your feet lubricated, which can cause abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints during normal activities like walking.
If you have diabetes, it’s essential to take care of your feet. Diabetics should take steps to prevent foot problems before they occur, learn to recognize early warning signs, and seek prompt treatment when an issue arises.
Preventing diabetic complications with your feet
There are quite a few risk factors for diabetics when it comes to foot health. The most important thing you can do is to make sure you wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes. Shoes with a poor fit are one of the most frequent causes of diabetic foot complications.
If your shoes cause red or sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or constant pain, you need to get new, properly fitting shoes right away. Also, if you have common foot deformities like bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet, you may need to talk to your doctor about prescription shoes or orthotics.
Another risk for diabetics is nerve damage associated with the disease. Normally functioning nerves let you sense whether your shoes are too tight, or if they rub too much on your feet. With diabetes, you might not be able to sense signs of wear and tear on your feet, like scrapes, cuts, or blisters.
Other foot problems that are high risk for diabetics include poor circulation, foot trauma, infections, and smoking.
People with diabetes need to take preventive steps to decrease the risk of foot problems, before they lead to the loss of a toe, foot, or leg. At Family Foot & Ankle Clinic, we work with you to create a foot care solution that will help ensure your health and well-being.