Those who suffer from Diabetes already know it is a chronic condition caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. Because of the imbalance it causes, it decreases the body’s ability to fight infections. When it comes to diabetics, this is especially harmful to the feet. If the blood sugars are not properly regulated, organ damage can occur. Immune system impairment is also likely.
One common problem with diabetics is nerve damage. With a damaged nervous system, a diabetic may not be able to feel their feet as they normally should. The sweat and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot no longer functions properly either. Without even realizing it, during normal activity, abnormal pressure can build up on the skin, bones and joints, causing sores or ulcers to develop. It is important to prevent such sores before they become a problem, or if they do occur, recognize them early and get help immediately. Even if you don’t feel any pain, those ulcers can cause serious problems if they are improperly addressed.
Diabetic Complications and Your Feet
It is especially important for diabetics to wear proper shoe gear. Often poor shoes significantly increase diabetic foot problems. If you see red, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses or have consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, it is essential that you get new shoes right away. There are stores which produce shoes specifically for diabetics and often insurances will cover diabetic shoes as long as your doctor writes a prescription. Also, if you have other foot problems like flat feet, bunions, hammertoes, etc., it may be helpful to purchase custom orthotics or shoe inserts in addition to the diabetic shoes to further protect your feet from complications.
If you have severe nerve damage diabetic neuropathy or peripheral neuropathy, you probably don’t feel your feet the way you should. It may seem a little strange, but pain lets us know when something is wrong. When we don’t feel the pain when something is wrong, we’re less likely to do something about it. In the case of diabetes, it’s a very dangerous risk, which is why diabetic patients are urged to have regular foot checks regardless of how well they feel. Another line of defense in that regard is to visually examine your feet on a daily basis. If you see anything that seems fishy, get it checked right away.
Some additional factors that can complicate diabetic foot problems are: poor circulation, foot trauma, infections, and smoking.
It is extremely important to take the threat of diabetes seriously when it comes to your feet. It is the number one cause of toe, foot and below the knee amputations, all of which can be prevented with proper preventative care.
Fortunately, Dr. Burdge has had expert training as well as decades of experience in the treatment and care of Diabetic feet. Call our office today to keep your feet on the right track.
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