Diabetes and Foot Health: A Dangerous Relationship

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you probably know that you’ve developed a whole-body illness. You might even know that the unregulated blood glucose levels caused by diabetes can affect your heart, kidneys, eyes and more. But did you know that the side effects of diabetes can have negative effects on your feet? People with diabetes are at risk of foot-related infection, hospitalization, and even amputation. 

Diabetes can cause neuropathy, nerve damage that makes it challenging to perceive pain. This means that you might not notice small nicks and cuts or other injuries. This is compounded by the diminished circulation that diabetes can cause, which make it harder for your body to heal itself than it might be otherwise. 

Everyone, diabetic or not, should get to know their feet and be able to spot changes. Inspecting your feet is easy. Place a small mirror on the floor and hold your foot above it.  

  • Do you see anything different about your foot’s anatomy? Be alert to incipient deformities such as bunions and hammertoes.

  • Do you notice any changes to the skin? Are there spots that appear red or scaly? This might be a sign of athlete’s foot or other fungal infection. Bumps might be plantar warts.

  • Look at the nails. Redness, swelling, or pus may indicate ingrown toenails. Discoloration might be a sign of toenail fungus.

  • Finally, take note of any small nicks, cuts, or other injuries. Patients with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to infection and the formation of ulcers, dangerous wounds that refuse to heal. 

It is of the utmost importance that individuals with diabetes be seen regularly by a board-certified podiatrist for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. This is the single best step that you can take to protect your foot health. Schedule a visit with Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM in Hartford Podiatry Group’s modern, comfortable Hartford and Rocky Hill offices. Call our friendly staff at 860-523-8026 or click here to get started today.