How Can Diabetes Affect Your Feet?
Extreme Blood sugar levels are associated with complications of a serious nature among people with diabetes. Diabetes does not just affect the body; it can also affect the feet with two conditions, namely diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. These conditions have the potential to damage the feet and other areas of the body among people who have diabetes.
What Is Diabetic Neuropathy?
People who have high sugar levels associated with diabetes can suffer from nerve damage, which interferes with their ability to sense temperature and pain. This condition is known as diabetic sensory neuropathy. It increases the risks of a person not noticing problems with his or her feet. Approximately 10% of the people with diabetes develop foot ulcers because of peripheral vascular disease, which can lead to nerve damage. Such people may not observe sores and cuts on their feet, which can lead to infections. Nerve damage can also affect the functioning of the foot muscles and thus lead to improper alignment and injury.
What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Diabetes also comes with poor blood circulation. The low flow of blood throughout the body increases the healing time for injuries and cuts. Peripheral vascular disease refers to the inadequate supply of blood in the arms and legs. The lack of proper blood supply prevents proper healing of infections. It also increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, a condition in which tissue die in a particular area of the body where there is inadequate blood supply.
Common Foot Problems Among People Who Have Diabetes
The following are some of the common problems that are faced by people who have diabetes:
A fungal infection of the feet is known as athletes foot. People with this condition have cracked skin, itching, and redness in the foot. The fungus enters the skin and causes an infection that can be treated with antifungal medications. These medications could be taken orally or applied as creams.
Nail fungus infection.
Nail fungus infections are quite common and come in the form of thick, brittle, and discolored nails. The infected area may crumble or seem to break away from the rest of the nail. This condition typically begins in a warm, moist, and dark environment that is created when wearing shoes. Injury to the nails also increases the possibilities of fungal nail infection. Although it is difficult to treat, it is treatable with oral medications. Surgery may also be done to remove the affected areas.
Calluses are thickened areas of the skin at the bottom of the feet. They are caused by uneven weight distribution, an abnormality of the skin, or ill-fitting shoes. There are common remedies for calluses.
How Can These Foot Problems Be Prevented?
Take good care of your feet to prevent foot problems before they begin using the following tips:
- Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding your diet, exercise, and medication. You must also keep your blood sugar level within the recommended range.
- Inspect your feet daily to observe any changes, including redness, blisters, calluses and any of the signs of irritation. This is particularly important because you may have diminished blood flow to your feet.
- Take good care of your feet by getting the best advice your doctor.
― Prof. Dr. Robert Hess
Foot examinations must be conducted by a foot doctor regardless of whether you face any problems. The doctor will be able to identify any problems and suggest remedies as required. Contact your doctor when you notice any changes to your fee. This could prevent the beginning of a problem. Since diabetes can inflict serious infections, it is essential to remain in constant contact with your doctor if you have it.
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