If you or a family member has diabetes, you know that it is extremely important to maintain good foot health. Uncontrolled diabetes, where the blood sugar level is too high over a period of time, can cause serious foot problems.
November is American Diabetes Month® and the perfect time to focus on maintaining good foot health for those with diabetes. In our upcoming blogs we will concentrate on foot health tips for everyone but especially for patients with diabetes.
One of the areas damaged by too high blood glucose levels is your network of nerves in the feet and legs. Diabetes can damage delicate nerve fibers, causing lack of feeling such as pain or extreme temperatures. The lack of feeling because of nerve damage is called diabetic neuropathy.
A person with diabetes may not notice an object like a pebble in a shoe, or a cut on the foot. These overlooked injuries can worsen, become infected and even lead to a foot ulcer. Also, damaged nerves may affect the proper functioning of foot muscles, causing foot misalignment. This puts too much pressure on one part of the foot, also resulting in a foot ulcer.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Another effect of diabetes is diminishing the flow of blood especially to the legs and arms. This restriction is called peripheral vascular disease. When blood flow is reduced, cells are deprived of oxygen and so a sore or cut will take longer to heal. These skin injuries can easily become infected and result in ulcers and even gangrene.
Watch for Foot Problems that Can Cause Complications in Those with Diabetes
Although anyone can have the following foot conditions, patients with diabetes must be extra watchful as they may become infected:
- Dry skin
- Ingrown and fungal toenails
- Plantar warts
It’s best not to try home remedies if you have diabetes. Contact Your Next Step for an evaluation appointment. We can help address these and other foot conditions in relationship to your diabetes. Also, it’s important to let us know if you see any of the following in your feet:
- Ankle or foot pain
- Cracked, dry skin
- Foot or ankle swelling
- Ingrown or infected toenails
- Open sores on feet that are draining or won’t heal
- Skin temperature or color changes
- Unusual or persistent foot odor
These are signs of foot problems that can become serious when accompanied by diabetes.
We Can Address Foot Complications Caused by Diabetes
Call us for an appointment for any foot pain or issue. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen, board certified and qualified podiatrists, have extensive experience in working with patients with diabetes. We have three offices for your convenience in the greater Philadelphia area: Ardmore, Paoli and Downingtown. You can contact us using information on our website. Get treatment right away for any diabetes-related foot conditions so they don’t worsen into severe problems.