Crucial Things to Know About Diabetes and Associated Foot Problems

Get more information on how you can care for your diabetic feet. Have your feet checked at least

Ray Nguyen

April 8, 2023

Although not all, many diabetics are known to encounter foot problems. Diabetes related foot problems include the possibility of losing a toe, foot, or even the entire leg. But diabetic feet risks can be lessened by getting proper foot care, managing blood sugar levels, and coming in for regular checkups.

But before we discuss early diabetes feet or diabetic foot care, allow us to talk to you about the causing disease first.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream is too high because the body is unable to break it down and convert into energy. The two most common types of diabetes are:

Type 1 - Usually diagnosed in children and young adults. This type requires a person to administer daily insulin injections.

Type 2 - This is the most common type which generally affects people over the age of 40. Medication and/or insulin may be required if lifestyle changes or antidiabetic drugs don’t work to maintain targeted blood glucose levels.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

Poorly controlled diabetes for a long period of time can cause the following complications:

Nerve damage (Peripheral Neuropathy) - This reduces the feeling in the feet which could possibly lead to injuries/wounds going  unnoticed

Poor Circulation (Peripheral Vascular Disease) - This increases the time it takes for a person’s wounds or infections to heal.

What Are the Signs of Diabetic Feet?

If you have diabetes, you need to talk to your physician as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Sudden skin color changes
  • Sudden skin temperature changes
  • Unusual foot or ankle swelling
  • Leg pain with no evident cause
  • Slow healing/draining open sores
  • Sudden growth of corns or calluses
  • Cracked heels
  • Foot odour that won’t go away but with no apparent source
  • Itchy or painful ingrown toenails

Can diabetes feet be cured? Sadly, there’s currently no cure available for diabetic neuropathy. However, you can significantly slow the progression of the disease. Your physician will likely give you pain medications to help relieve your discomfort and prevent the condition from worsening.

If you notice any of the signs above, don’t wait and schedule a consultation at your preferred podiatry clinic right away to avoid any complications. Remember, when it comes to diabetic feet, it’s always better to be a day early than a day late.

How to Minimize Diabetic Feet Problems

Here are some tips you can follow to limit the damage inflicted by diabetic feet:

  • Maintain normal blood sugar levels
  • Never ever walk barefoot even at home
  • Wear lace-up/velcro shoes that are wide and deep enough where possible
  • Check all footwear for rough edges inside as well as in the insoles
  • Perform a daily inspection to check for cracks, cuts, callus or other injuries
  • Exercise regularly to encourage circulation; half an hour of walking per day is sufficient
  • Don’t smoke to prevent nicotine from increasing your blood sugar even more
  • See your podiatrist as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary

How Else Can I Care for My Diabetic Foot?

An annual checkup with a podiatrist in Marrickville should help detect any changes in your body earlier, making them much easier to manage. A care plan can then be tailored to your needs depending on the results. Talk to us to schedule a consultation today!

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