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How Diabetes Affects Your Feet

What exactly is the cause of diabetic foot problems? In most cases it is damage to the nerves that affect the legs and feet. This is called Diabetic Neuropathy. There is deterioration of these nerves due to high blood sugar levels in the body. Other factors are high blood fat, and high blood pressure. If you suffer from diabetics and are overweight or over 40 years of age there must be constant vigilance in keeping these levels down and also by checking your feet and legs daily.

The most common condition resulting from Foot Problems in a type 2 diabetic is called Peripheral Neuropathy. It is a loss of sensation which begins at the very tips of the toes and worms it way up the legs. It can result in infections and foot ulcers because there is no feeling. If there’s no feeling, you won’t be able to tell if you have injured your feet. If the infections are not treated it can lead to amputations. That is why a daily regime of foot and leg examinations is so important.

There are things that you can do every day to lessen the risk of infections in the feet of a diabetic. Wash your feet with warm water and soap, and gently dry them with a soft towel. To help with dry skin utilize a good lotion, but not between your toes. Keep your toenails trimmed with rounded edges. If you wear socks, then get seamless socks or ones with soft-flat seams. The important thing is to protect your feet, so wear shoes or slippers, even if you’re at home or enjoying the beach.

Because of the loss in sensitivity, a diabetic may not be able to feel a pebble or other debris in their shoes. It is a very good habit for any diabetic with foot numbness to shake their shoes out before putting them on. In the case where there is a break in the skin: a blister, rash, bruise, or redness, instead of trying to tend it yourself it is better to make an appointment with your physician as soon as possible. It is also highly suggested that any diabetic, especially those with foot problems have a thorough foot examination that will check your skin, muscles, bones and blood circulation, plus, a monofilament test to inspect the nerves in your feet at least once a year.

If you, or someone you know is a known diabetic and has begun to lose sensitivity in their feet to tell their doctor immediately. This is a very serious issue that can easily result in amputation.

POSTED ON July 15, 2011,