Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have been diagnosed with diabetes, with another 500 million or more at risk for developing the oftentimes deadly disease. The majority of people diagnosed with diabetes experience mild to severe peripheral neuropathy which is the loss of feeling in the extremities due to nerve damage. Proper diabetic foot care is essential to avoid potentially dire complications.
The nerve damage, in conjunction with the corresponding decrease in blood flow, can lead to severe problems with your feet and ankles. You may get cuts or blisters that you can’t feel and that can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection which could then worsen and require amputation of a toe, foot, or lower leg.
Foot symptoms frequently experienced by patients who have diabetes include:
- Tingling or burning
- Color and temperature extremes
- Dry and cracked skin, corns, and calluses
- Yellowing and thickening toenails that may be a fungal nail infection
- Hair loss
- A change in the shape of your foot
- Loss of feeling in your feet from peripheral neuropathy
- Digestive, urination, and sexual dysfunction
While these signs and symptoms don’t always indicate a major problem, early detection of even minor issues like scrapes and cuts is essential.
Performing a careful inspection of your feet on a daily basis is a great way to be proactive. If you see anything out of the ordinary, bring it to the attention of your podiatrist. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists is equipped with the skills and modern technology to assess, diagnose, and treat your diabetes-related foot issues. Foot doctors Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices in Ardmore, Paoli, Woodlyn, and Downingtown, PA. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.