Diabetics are more prone to various foot problems due to the devastating combination of gradual nerve damage and blood flow problems. The nerves and blood vessels are affected by the consistently high levels of blood sugar. Even with very controlled blood sugar there is still a higher risk for vascular and neurological problems.
Nerve damage (Neuropathy) affects the nerves to the feet in various ways, such as diminished and total loss of sensation, chronic and intermittent burning pain, muscle weakness and atrophy, and loss of control of the sweat gland functions of the skin.
Diabetes Mellitus can exacerbate the progress of arteriosclerosis of the small blood vessels, thereby affecting the feet and toes especially. The combination of diminished blood flow and nerve disease can lead to a variety of problems such at chronic wounds and ulcerations, excessive dry skin and cracking, recurring and chronic infections, the loss of feeling to the feet and toes and eventual loss of blood flow to the toes which can lead to amputations.
The damage to your nerves can cause the loss of feeling in your feet, hindering the ability to detect extreme temperatures and pain. As a result, there is a higher risk of sustaining a serious cut or wound and not even noticing your foot is injured until an infection begins.
Prevention is the main goal for the Podiatrist. Many times the Podiatrist is the first line of defense against a whole host of potential problems that may lay in wait for the Diabetic patient.
Many diabetic foot problems can be prevented in some measure with improved blood sugar control through proper diet and medications. Annual examinations by your podiatrist are an integral part of the treatment plan for Diabetics. A podiatrist can provide a more thorough exam and detect early warning signs such as diminished feeling, tingling of the toes, cold feeling of the feet, dry and cracking skin, and chronic ulcers.
Regular Foot Checkups
Diabetics should regularly visit with their Podiatrist to evaluate and treat any impending problems, such as corns, calluses, elongated and ingrown toenails. Early signs of neuropathy can be detected with simple tests as can blood flow problems. Shoe gear is very important, and the Podiatrist can properly check your shoes and inserts, fit your for new ones, and make sure there are no areas of abnormal pressure that may lead to sores or ulcers. A regular to the Podiatrist can save a foot.
Have you ever felt a sharp pain at the tip of your great toe, noticed it was a bit swollen, red, and angry looking? And then you'd chalk it up to tigh...