Foot Complications with Diabetes

What is Diabetes?

In short, diabetes is a disease that happens when your blood sugar is too high. High amounts of glucose stays in the blood because those with diabetes are lacking insulin, or their body doesn’t utilize insulin well. When glucose in high doses stays in the blood for a long period of time, this can cause health problems that can affect your feet. There are two main health complications that are responsible for the damage diabetes give to your feet.

Diabetic Neuropathy

If diabetes are left untreated and left to go out of control, your nerves can become damaged. This is due to glucose levels being too high in the blood, along with high levels of fats. The symptoms differ from which type of neuropathy you have, but damaged nerves can affect your feet. For example, your feet will be numb and you will not be able to feel any sensation such as changes in temperature or cuts on your skin. Minor cuts most people notice and can treat right away can become serious with those lacking sensory, because cuts can go unnoticed and can become infected. Another problem with diabetic neuropathy is that the muscles of the foot can stop working properly. The nerves that make the muscles work will be damaged, therefore your lack of function. Too much pressure in one area of the foot can occur if the muscles stop working properly, because the feet will align improperly.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease is a disease that affects the vessels pumping blood away from your heart, and is therefore a circulation disorder. If your body is lacking good blood flow, is takes longer for your body to heal itself. If you have an infection that will not heal properly due to the lack of blood flow, this can cause damage. For example, ulcers or gangrene. Gangrene in the foot can cause your skin to blister, turn blue from lack of circulation or other discoloration, and to get dark scabs. Gangrene is considered a medical emergency, as it can lead to needing to amputate the foot due to high amounts of dead tissue. In general, peripheral vascular disease caused by diabetes affects the feet, and can cause severe and irreversible damage.

People with diabetes are more susceptible to infections, meaning common foot complications can become more serious. For example, athlete’s foot, blisters, bunions, corns, and plantar warts can become more of a threat to your feet.

If you are suffering from diabetes, talk with your doctor and go over preventative methods to keep your feet healthy. If you are already have concerns and are experiencing issues with your feet, see your doctor right away. It is important to get in before damage becomes irreversible, especially with a disease like diabetes.