Diabetes prevalence is a growing health concern in the US where over 37 million people have it and 1 in 5 don’t know it, according to the American Diabetes Association. With an increasing number of Americans with prediabetes, it is important to understand the potential complications that can arise with a diagnosis. Chronically high blood glucose can lead to a wide array of health issues including the following foot complications, which is why our podiatrists at Tipton & Unroe Foot & Ankle Care want you to know the importance of scheduling regular visits.
One of the most common conditions people with diabetes develop is neuropathy, or nerve damage. While damaged nerves can cause pain, they can also impact your ability to feel pain and extreme temperatures. This loss of sensation can be problematic for your feet because you may not notice if the temperature of a bath is too hot, or if a rock has been in your shoe all day, or if you sustained an injury. Even minor problems like blisters have the potential to become serious complications.
Diabetes leads to poor circulation in the lower extremities, which can impact your ability to fight off infections. The slow blood flow can also make your feet feel cold, but it is important to be careful when warming feet to prevent unintentional burning. You should also avoid smoking, as it can contribute to poor circulation.
The nerve damage in your feet can also affect the oil glands on your skin, making your skin dry and flaky. Severely cracked and dry skin can increase your chances of developing infections, so be sure to apply moisturizer regularly.
Diabetes can reduce immune function, so injuries can easily become persistent wounds that heal slowly and can become infected. Even a small blister has the potential to become a large infected open wound. These ulcers that don’t heal often end in amputation, so looking over your feet everyday is an important part of your foot care routine.
Protect your feet
- Follow these foot care tips to protect your feet:
- Practice good foot hygiene
- Keep feet moisturized (but avoid between the toes)
- Wear comfortable, properly-fitted shoes
- Inspect your feet each day
- Do not walk barefoot
- Wear moisture-wicking socks
We can help!
Teaming up with an experienced diabetic foot care specialist is the best way to protect your feet from foot complications. The inability to feel injuries and other problems on your feet can greatly impact your health, which is why seeing a podiatrist regularly is crucial. A diabetic foot care specialist can help minimize your risks of ulcers and amputations, and prescribe shoes and orthotics that are tailored to the needs of your specific feet. If you have concerns, questions, or need to schedule an appointment, contact Tipton & Unroe Foot & Ankle Care! Request an appointment at our conveniently located offices in Louisville and Bardstown, KY today!