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How Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet | Fort Worth Podiatry

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Diabetes occurs when people have had too much glucose (sugar) in their system for a long time. While you need to consult your doctor on an appropriate treatment, it is also vital to be aware of the complications that may arise when it comes to...

Diabetes occurs when people have had too much glucose (sugar) in their system for a long time. While you need to consult your doctor on an appropriate treatment, it is also vital to be aware of the complications that may arise when it comes to foot infections.

Sensory diabetic neuropathy can cause a person suffering from diabetes to be unable to feel cold, heat or pain. This lack of sensory ability can potentially lead to dangerous infections as a person may not feel a cut on their foot and treatment will be neglected. In addition, foot muscles may not align properly, with up to 10% of diabetics citing foot ulcers.

Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that affects blood cells away from the heart, such as those in the arms and legs, and can cause cuts or wounds to heal more slowly. Openings in the skin rely on timely blood flow to the wound to repair the damage, and peripheral vascular disease puts people suffering from diabetes in danger of infections that may turn into ulcers or gangrene.

Common problems can lead to complications and extreme treatments including amputation for diabetics:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Fungal infection of nails
  • Calluses
  • Corns
  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Dry skin
  • Foot ulcers
  • Hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Plantar warts

Preventative methods are vital when managing diabetes:

  • Seek to keep blood sugar levels in a range prescribed by your doctor via exercise, nutrition and medication
  • Wash your feet daily with mild soap and dry thoroughly
  • If you have dry skin, apply lotion after washing and drying your feet
  • Smooth corns and calluses with an emery board or pumice stone, moving the board in one direction only
  • Clip toenails straight across once a week
  • Wear closed toed shoes with socks or stockings
  • Wear shoes that fit well, made of canvas or leather, and break them in slowly
  • Protect your feet from heat and cold
  • Keep blood flowing by putting your feet up when sitting, wiggling toes and ankles several times a day, and avoiding crossing your legs for long periods
  • Don’t smoke
  • Have your feet examined in routine check-ups with your diabetes doctor
  • Have check-ups with a podiatrist every 2-3 months, even if you have no current foot problems

Abridged from WebMD – Read More

Ankle and Foot Institute of Texas
✆ Phone (appointments): 817-242-5903
✆ Phone (general inquiries): 817-847-8500
Address: 816 Towne Court, Suite 100, Fort Worth, TX 76179