While proper foot care is important for everyone, people who are diabetic need to pay special attention to their feet. If you are diabetic, your feet can experience diabetic neuropathy, a form of nerve damage. When neuropathy is present, you may not feel cuts, blisters, or rashes that can lead to serious infection if left untreated.
Diabetic Neuropathy is a Lifelong Condition Once It Starts
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can occur in any area of your body, but diabetic neuropathy is most common in your extremities. It is caused from blood sugar levels that are too high, and it is a common complication for people who have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels. Keeping your blood sugar under control and maintaining a good exercise program is the best way to avoid this serious condition associated with diabetes. Signs of neuropathy include pain, tingling and numbness. Once neuropathy has started, there is no cure, only treatment that may reduce your symptoms.
Healing is Difficult for Diabetics
If you are unable to feel your feet, and you have a cut, you may not notice it. Diabetics have a harder time healing from injuries than a healthy individual. When you have diabetes and your blood sugar levels are too high, your blood has trouble circulating throughout your body. High blood sugar causes narrowing of your blood vessels and stiffening of your arteries, two problems that contribute to poor circulation. Without good circulation, you will heal more slowly. Since diabetes also causes immune system deficiencies, you are more susceptible to infections and need to be monitored closely when you have any injuries.
Foot Complications Decrease Your Quality of Life
With any condition, maintaining your quality of life is crucial. When you have poor circulation in your feet that can lead to infection easily, you will experience further complications without good foot care. Complications with infection can include tissue death, which results in the need to amputate a toe, foot, or leg, depending on how far the infection has spread. Once you have to undergo an amputation because of an infection, you will have more trouble getting around. No one wants to face an amputation if there is something that can be done to prevent it. Regular checkups with your podiatrist can address problems as they arise.
Like with most chronic health issues, a good exercise plan can make dealing with the complications of diabetes easier. Exercise will increase your circulation and provide you with a good sense of overall health. Take care of your feet if you are diabetic to avoid significant problems in the future.
For more information, contact Michael Scanlon DPM or a similar medical professional.