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  • Writer's pictureErin Fairbanks

Diabetes & Your Feet

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

Foot health is important for everyone, but for people with diabetes it is essential! Diabetes can reduce blood flow to your feet and cause nerve damage. Without proper attention and care, a small injury can develop into an open sore that can be difficult to treat. We don’t often think to inspect our feet daily for cuts, scrapes or blisters. It’s usually once something has already developed and is painful, that we take any action. But what if you don’t feel pain in your feet? This is an issue many people with diabetes will face. With damage to your nervous system, you may not be able to feel your feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired, which can lead to an abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and other activities. This can even lead to the breakdown of the skin of the foot, which often causes sores to develop. If you have diabetes, it is important to prevent foot problems before they occur, recognize problems early, and seek the right treatment when a problem does happen.

Diabetic Complications and Your Feet

When it comes to your feet, there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing foot problems and diabetic infections in the legs and feet. First of all, poorly fitting shoes are one of the biggest culprits of diabetic foot complications. If you have red spots, sore spots, blisters, corns, calluses, or consistent pain associated with wearing shoes, new proper fitted shoes must be obtained immediately. Additionally, if you have common foot abnormalities such as flat feet, bunions, or hammertoes, prescription shoes or orthotics may be necessary to further protect your feet from other damage. People who have long-standing diabetes are also at risk for peripheral neuropathy. If you have nerve damage, you may not be able to feel your feet normally and you may also be unable to sense the position of your feet and toes while walking and balancing. Normal nerves allow people to sense if their shoes are too tight or if their shoes are rubbing on the feet too much. With diabetes, you may not be able to properly sense minor injuries, such as cuts, scrapes and blisters-all signs of abnormal wear, tear, and foot strain. The following can also compromise the health of your feet:

  • Poor Circulation

  • Trauma to the feet

  • Infections

  • Smoking

Diabetes can be extremely dangerous to your feet, so take precautions now. It is important to see a Chiropodist regularly as it can greatly reduce your chances of ulcerations and wounds. Remember, prevention is the key to saving your feet and eliminating pain.

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