Diabetes and Your Feet: What’s the Connection?
Diabetes is a disease that has to do with the production and processing of insulin in your body and it currently affects over 30 million Americans. This is climbing towards 10% of the population. Patients with diabetes have to manage the sugar level in their blood. At Pasco-Hernando Foot & Ankle, we want patients to know that diabetes negatively impacts your circulation, which can affect your feet in several significant ways.
This is another word for nerve damage and is frequently associated with diabetes. When neuropathy is present, a patient may have a decreased amount of sensation in his or her feet. Lack of feeling may make it difficult to perceive temperatures that are too hot or too cold. It can also lead to an injury to the foot that goes undetected because the ability to feel pain is decreased.
The development of foot ulcers is directly related to neuropathy. An injury that is not noticed can turn into an ulcer and even become infected. The lack of circulation decreases the body’s ability to heal the wound, and an infection can become very difficult to control. Diabetic ulcers and wounds can have very serious ramifications, including amputation, if not healed. For this reason, it’s essential that diabetic patients keep their feet covered and take precautions like avoiding using heating pads and exposing feet to direct heat to prevent foot injuries. Examining your feet regularly is also key. If you notice redness, cuts, blisters or rashes it’s very important that you report them to our podiatrist, Dr. Lawrence J. Kales, immediately. The foot doctor will take the necessary steps to prevent or control an ulcer.
Patients with diabetes often find that the secretion of oils necessary to keep feet moist and supple is impeded due to the disease. Additional moisturizing may be necessary. If feet get dry and flaky, cracks can develop which can lead to wounds and infections.
Fortunately, diabetes is manageable and there are many ways that you can protect your feet from potential harm if you have this disease. To learn more, contact our Spring Hill (352 683-5799) or Hudson (727-868-2128) office in Florida today for more information.