Diabetes affects millions of Americans and can cause additional issues outside of just the diagnosis itself. Roughly one in ten Americans have diabetes, which amounts to roughly 34.2 million Americans. This is not even counting those who are prediabetic and more susceptible to getting diabetes. One of the major issues that comes with diabetes is foot problems. Below you will find information on how you can prevent foot problems from diabetes and what you should do if you notice any issues with your feet after a diabetes diagnosis.
Foot Problems from Diabetes
The connection between diabetes and your feet may not be obvious at first, especially for those outside of the medical field. With that, high blood sugar levels among those with uncontrolled diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy. This is a fancy medical term that means numbness and loss of sensation. Peripheral neuropathy makes it so those with diabetes cannot feel various sensations because of nerve damage from really high and uncontrolled blood sugar levels. This is most often in people’s hands and feet, but impacts people’s feet the most as it is easier to go unnoticed.
People often cannot feel pressure or even a sense of touch. However, the condition is painful and can cause sensations such as tingling and burning. Because of this issue, wounds are often not felt immediately as they normally would, and it can go unnoticed, especially without careful supervision. On top of that, poor circulation due to diabetes can also make it so the body has a more difficult time healing the wounds. As distant as a diagnosis of diabetes and foot issues may sound, they are very much interlinked.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
One of the most common foot problems among those with diabetes is foot ulcers. If your diabetes is mismanaged, diabetic foot ulcers are common. Managing diabetes involves focusing on diet, exercise, and insulin treatment. With this, a diabetic foot ulcer can form as a result of the skin tissue breaking down and exposing the vulnerable layers underneath. Foot ulcers most often occur on your toes or the balls of your feet.
If they go unchecked, they can literally impact your foot down to the bone, which runs a major risk of infection. Infections can spread from your feet to your whole body and be extremely harmful. In some cases, it can lead to amputation. Treatment depends on the severity of the ulcer, where it is located, and your current state of health. However, your podiatrist will be focused on protecting your foot, preventing infection, and treating any infected tissue as soon as possible.
Tips for Prevention
Prevention is vital as research has shown that nearly half of diabetic ulcers result in infection.
- Focuse on your blood sugar levels
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Focuse on moderate and consistent exercise
Together, these can do wonders for your health if you have diabetes. However, it is equally as important to check your feet daily for any potential sores. It helps to wash them in the shower, keep them dry and moisturized, and wear shoes that are breathable. It helps your overall health to regularly visit the doctor to ensure catching any issues as early as possible.
Podiatrist in Los Angeles
If you have diabetes and are concerned about issues with your feet, contact Dr. Jamshidinia at Jamfeet. He is a board-certified surgeon trained in all areas of foot and ankle treatment and surgery. Dr. Jamshidnia and his team believe in comprehensive patient care and focus on getting you back to full health. Contact the best podiatrist in Los Angeles today for an appointment!