When you are a diabetic, you can be prone to a variety of foot issues that can start to develop throughout long periods of your sugar levels getting too high. Two such examples include peripheral vascular diseases and diabetic neuropathy, both of which can come with fairly serious complications. The more that you know about caring for your feet as a diabetic the easier it will be to manage it.
Someone who has diabetes deals with insufficient or faulty insulin production or it might be that there is a lowered sensitivity to insulin. As an essential hormone in the body, insulin works to help the cells absorb sugars from the blood to convert into energy. If this process is disrupted, the sugar remains in the blood and can lead to health issues. Whenever there are prolonged periods when the sugar levels are elevated, it can damage certain areas of the body, including the feet.
Diabetic Foot Problems
There are two main foot issues that diabetics could experience, including:
Diabetic Neuropathy – There can be nerve damage caused over time that brings on numbness in the feet. This condition can make it harder for diabetics to feel a sensation throughout their extremities. Some people with diabetic neuropathy may not have the ability to feel soreness, irritation, or infection that is growing on the feet. This can bring on the increase in issues like blisters, sores, and cuts.
Without proper treatment, diabetic neuropathy can cause ulcers or gangrene, which could require amputation.
Peripheral Vascular Disease – This is a condition where diabetes will bring on changes in the blood vessels and arteries. The problem lies when fatty deposits start to block the blood vessels beyond the heart and brain. This condition impacts the blood vessels coming to and from the hands and feet where blood flow is reduced.
When peripheral vascular disease develops, it can bring on infection, pain, and slow-healing wounds. If there is a severe infection that develops, your doctor might recommend amputation.
Know The Symptoms
If you are concerned that you have foot issues developing due to diabetes, it is best to seek the help of a podiatrist in the Lake Stevens area. Some of the symptoms that you may be experiencing that are cause for concern include:
- Red streaks
- Loss of feeling
- Wounds or blisters without pain
- The sensation of tingling or numbness
- Discoloration of the skin
- Temperature changes
- Wounds that are or are not draining
- Staining on your socks
- Tingling that becomes painful
If you are dealing with an infection, you may also notice fever, chills, shaking, redness, uncontrollable blood sugar, and shock.
Any signs of foot issues as a diabetic call for a trip to the podiatrist. Treatment options will depend on the severity of your condition, and there are both surgical and non-surgical treatments available. Be sure that you are checking your feet daily, cleaning them, and wearing supportive socks and shoes. You can also make sure that you are elevating your feet when sitting, get plenty of exercise, and proceed with caution when trimming your toenails.
Do you want to learn more about caring for your feet with diabetes? Call Dr. Hall at (425) 482-6663 at Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic.