What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. It is a defect in the body’s ability to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Diabetes is usually categorized in three ways; Type I, Type 2 and Gestational.
Type I is where the body does not produce insulin and cannot convert glucose (sugar) into energy. Many patients give themselves insulin to help with this breakdown of glucose.
Type II is where the body does not process insulin properly. This type can also be known as adult onset diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs during pregnancy where there is a high level of glucose present.
What does Diabetes have to do with my feet?
Limited blood flow restricts the amount of nutrients that gets delivered to the foot. This creates several problems for diabetics including:
Diabetic Neuropathy – People with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems can occur when there is nerve damage also called neuropathy, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Neuropathy can lead to an inability to feel pain, heat or cold. You may develop a foot injury and not even know it.
Dry Skin is closely related to the nerve damage that accommodates diabetes. Because your nerves do not work properly, your feet cannot regulate the moisture and oils needed to maintain healthy smooth skin.
Foot Ulcers – Then skin on your feet may also change. The skin can become dry and crack and peel. The nerves in your feet that control oil and moisture may no longer work. You may develop corns and calluses if left untreated could result in an ulcer. Circulation is key to good foot health. If you develop poor circulation, you lose the ability to fight infection and to heal.
Increased chances of wound infection – When the foot encounters a wound, the body is unable to supply sufficient amounts of blood and nutrients for healthy healing. If wounds go unnoticed, because of nerve damage, they will be vulnerable to infection.
Seeking care will only help treat and prevent these conditions. For diabetics, prevention is one of the best treatments. For this reason, it is important that you keep foot health a priority. Contact our podiatric office today and get treatment so that you can control the effects of your diabetes.
The doctor will schedule routine foot examinations allowing him to check your feet thoroughly to check for any unusual signs. He may do testing on your feet to check your circulation and nerve function. He will check the feet and toes for any redness, swelling and sores. The best way to effectively maintain your foot health is to see the doctor! Do not hesitate to call for an appointment and let the doctor check your feet!