Diabetes and the Effect It Can Have on Your Feet

Diabetes and the Effect It Can Have on Your Feet

If you have diabetes, your condition can put your feet at risk. Read more to learn what you should know about diabetes, how it affects your feet, and how diabetic foot care can help.

Living with diabetes impacts many aspects of your health and wellness. It’s not just diet and blood sugar you should worry about — diabetes can affect your eyesight and even cause nerve damage. Your feet are at a high risk of suffering complications related to diabetes.

At Hansen Foot & Ankle, Dr. Nathan Hansen and his podiatric specialist team can help you understand what diabetes does to your feet and provide the protection you need to keep your feet healthy if you have this chronic condition. We treat new and existing patients, offering a full range of podiatry services from our Mill Creek, Washington office.

Diabetic neuropathy and your feet

Diabetic neuropathy is one potential complication of diabetes. When you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t produce or use the chemicals it needs to regulate your blood sugar. The glucose levels in your blood can get too high, causing health problems.

For one thing, uncontrolled blood sugar damages your circulation. So, the further you are from your heart, the poorer your circulation. That means your feet are at risk as they’re about as far away from your heart as possible.

Diabetes also leads to nerve damage. Diabetic neuropathy in your feet is known as peripheral diabetic neuropathy. This issue is more common than you might realize and can result in serious health problems. Around half of all diabetes patients experience peripheral neuropathy, with an increasing likelihood as you get older.

If you have neuropathy, you might feel tingling or discomfort in your feet. Or, you might lose sensation in that area of your body, leaving you vulnerable to unnoticed injuries and infection.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a serious issue. Without the correct management steps, you could face severe complications. This condition can even lead to amputation if left untreated.

Diabetic foot care

Your provider at Hansen Foot & Ankle focuses on slowing the progression of your peripheral neuropathy or preventing the condition from developing in the first place, if possible. Our goal is to help you stay one step ahead of your diabetes.

You may be able to avoid irreversible damage if you and your medical support team catch your peripheral neuropathy symptoms early. Watch out for tingling, numbness, or unexplained pain in your feet and lower legs. You could also notice slow-healing sores or ulcers or an increasing lack of coordination and muscle strength in your legs.

If you’re diagnosed with neuropathy, there are steps you can take to protect your health and mobility. In addition to treatment to get your diabetes under control with insulin medications or lifestyle changes, you need to pay more attention to your feet after neuropathy.

Regular foot inspections, careful foot cleaning with warm but not hot water, and strategies like avoiding going barefoot can all help keep infection issues to a minimum. Getting regular checkups and professional podiatry care is critical, as well.

To learn more about the risks that diabetes poses for your feet, and to find out about our recommendations for foot care, contact the team at Hansen Foot & Ankle and schedule your initial consultation appointment. Book over the phone or request an appointment online today.