What Does Diabetes do to Feet?
If you are a person with diabetes, you know that the disease affects your entire body. However, one area of your body you need to keep an eye on is your feet. Diabetes can affect your feet in a variety of ways and if not taken care of you may have complications. Luckily, Dr. Harvey Danciger can help with your foot care. Dr. Danciger has years of experience dealing with the foot and ankle and can help you with your diabetic foot conditions.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes happens when you have too much glucose in your blood. It is a group of diseases, which have high blood glucose levels, and limits your body’s ability to produce and use insulin. There are two types of diabetes.
- Diabetes Type 1 is often diagnosed in children and young adults. With this type of diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.
- Diabetes Type 2 is the most common form diagnosed in people. With this type of diabetes, the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin.
How does Diabetes Affect the Feet?
It is important that you pay close attention to your feet. The little symptoms can lead to bigger complications if not taken care of immediately. Some common problems that happen in diabetic feet include:
- Neuropathy – Neuropathy is when nerves are damaged and result in the loss of feeling. Because of nerve damage, it will be harder for you to feel pain, heat, or cold. This is a problem because if you cannot feel, then you may not know when your foot has been injured.
- Complications with the skin – When your feet become dry, the skin can peel and crack. The nerves controlling the oil and moisture in your feet may not work anymore, which can cause complications.
- Calluses – Diabetic feet develop calluses more often because of high pressure areas under the foot. If calluses are not maintained they can get very thick, break down and turn into open sores.
- Foot ulcers – Foot ulcers are open wounds in the foot. They happen on the ball of the foot or the bottom of the big toe. You can develop ulcers by wearing shoes that do not fit correctly and your foot rubs against the shoe.
- Circulation – If you have poor circulation in your feet, it can prevent normal blood flow. Diabetes causes your blood vessels to narrow and harden. When this happens, the affected foot is not able to fight infection and heal.
- Amputation – Amputation of the foot or leg is more likely to happen in diabetics. There are many people with diabetes diagnosed with artery disease. This disease lessens blood flow to the feet and nerve disease reduces sensation.
How can you Prevent Diabetic Complications in the Feet?
You can help prevent complications in your feet from diabetes. First you will want to schedule regular appointments with Dr. Danciger. He can provide a thorough check of your feet and identify any abnormalities. You can also perform the following:
- Manage your diabetes.
- Avoid wearing shoes that are too tight. Make sure your shoes have a wide toe box.
- Check your feet daily for any open wounds, sores or calluses.
- Wash and dry your feet daily.
- Keep your feet active.
Want to learn more about diabetes and your feet? Dr. Danciger has a complimentary book, Understanding Your Diabetic Feet, which can be ordered on our website homepage. Feel free to order book, or if you have specific questions call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Danciger at (760) 568-0108.