Without management, diabetes can threaten your immediate health and even the health of your feet. Insulin resistance and high blood sugar can wreak havoc on biomechanical processes. Heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and even a loss of vision are risks when it comes to diabetes. Diabetes also impacts circulation and can damage nerves. For your feet, this is incredibly dangerous. Diabetic foot care is essential, even if you’ve only recently been diagnosed with diabetes.
Learn about the risks, and how you can get help from your podiatrist Boca Raton.
How Diabetes Can Compromise Foot Health
High levels of fat and sugar in the blood can cause a condition known as diabetic neuropathy. Most diabetics will eventually develop some form of this Diabetic Foot condition.
This could include:
- Peripheral neuropathy that affects legs and feet, hands, and arms.
- Focal neuropathy that damages nerves in the hands, legs, head, and torso.
- Autonomic neuropathy that affects internal organs.
- Proximal neuropathy that affects areas like the buttocks, thighs, and hips.
Peripheral neuropathy relates directly to foot health. If it develops in one or (more likely) both feet, you could lose much of the sensation in your lower extremities. The condition could become so advanced that you no longer feel pain in your feet. This is where the biggest risk comes in.
If you have dulled or no sensation in your feet, then even small cuts and sores could develop into larger problems like ulcers and infected wounds. By the time that you realize you have an injury, it could be highly advanced, requiring extensive treatment with a podiatrist Boca Raton. In the worst-case scenario, damage to your feet could be so bad that amputation is needed to protect the rest of your body.
The Risk is Increased with Lifestyle Factors
Your podiatrist Boca Raton can help you to maintain the health of your lower legs and feet. You can also make some lifestyle changes to limit the likelihood of developing neuropathy and advanced injuries.
- If you’re overweight, it’s best to work towards reaching an ideal range. Your doctor can help you to do this safely without complicating your diabetes.
- If your blood sugar isn’t controlled, you’re more likely to experience complications. Managing blood sugar through diet and medication is essential.
- If you have diabetes and smoke, now is the time to stop. Smoking causes a range of problems for your circulatory system, which can exacerbate problems with diabetes and neuropathy.
Diabetic Foot: Check Your Feet and Toes Regularly
Your podiatrist Boca Raton recommends that you regularly check feet and toes for injuries if you have been diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy. In addition, there are other things you can do to protect your health.
- Check your feet daily using a floor mirror, or get help from a family member. Check for cuts, abrasions, and other injuries that need attention.
- Keep your toenails trimmed. If you have problems with bleeding and ingrown toenails, you can talk to your podiatrist Boca Raton to schedule a medical pedicure.
- Protect your feet by wearing slippers in the home. Avoid walking barefoot.
- Wash your feet regularly using warm water. Don’t soak your feet as this can strip moisture away. Using a moisturizer on the soles of your feet can prevent cracking and other problems.
- Exercise to promote blood flow. Walking, light jogging, cycling, and swimming can help to ensure that blood is circulated to your lower extremities.
Contact Your Podiatrist Boca Raton for Pain, Injuries, and Other Concerns
Most importantly, don’t ignore problems with your feet, especially when you have diabetes. Pain, injuries, discomfort, tingling, and changes in skin appearance should be presented to your podiatrist Boca Raton.
Early detection of problems will ensure the greatest likelihood of recovery. The team at the Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center is here to help you manage your foot health with diabetes.