It’s quite normal for people with diabetes to suffer with foot problems. You may know someone that has diabetes and has lost a toe or foot due to complications. Thankfully, this is quite rare nowadays, but it can still happen. There are plenty of ways that you can make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, which we are going to look at below. But first, we are going to discuss how diabetes can affect your feet.
How can diabetes affect my feet?
Diabetes can generate nerve damage in your feet. This is a condition known as diabetic neuropathy, and it causes pain, tingling and a loss of feeling in your feet. When you lose the feeling in your feet, you won’t be able to feel things like blisters or cuts, and over time, these can lead to infection. These infections are something that can cause massive problems if left for a long period of time without treatment.
Diabetes can also reduce the amount of blood flowing to your feet. If you do not have enough blood flowing to your feet, this can make any infections harder for the body to heal. In some cases, blood flow is bad enough that an infection never heals and this can lead to gangrene and foot ulcers. Ulcers and gangrene that do not get better with treatment can lead to a patient needing an amputation. This amputation can be of a toe, the whole foot or part of the leg, depending on how bad the infection is. A surgeon will perform an amputation to stop the infection from spreading to the rest of your body, thus saving your life. Thankfully, there are several ways in which you can prevent your diabetes ever affecting your feet this badly. One of the best ways of limiting this sort of thing from happening is good foot care.
Taking care of your feet
If you have diabetes, it is crucial that you look after your feet, if you don’t, it can lead to a life-threatening condition. Below are some pointers to help you take care of your feet at home, but it’s vital that you get your feet checked yearly by a podiatrist to make sure that the things you are doing at home are working.
Tips for healthy feet
- Make sure you check and trim your toenails regularly.
- Check your feet every day – look for any swelling, redness, hard skin or changes in shape
- Beware of any loss of feeling in your feet
- Moisturise your feet every day
- Always look inside your shoes for anything that can cut your feet before putting them on
- Ask someone at home to help you monitor the feeling in your feet
If you notice anything unusual when checking your feet, make an appointment with your GP or podiatrist. By doing these simple checks everyday and getting a yearly check up, you can prevent any damage being caused by diabetes and possibly save your own life.
If you would like our help with your yearly check up or you think that you might need help with treating an infection caused by diabetes, please get in touch. We will be happy to help you get your feet into a healthy condition once again.