Diabetes and Your Feet

diabetesAccording to the American Diabetes Association, about 30.3 million people (9.4 % of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands.

Foot problems are a big risk for people with diabetes. They must constantly monitor their feet. With a diabetic foot, a wound as small as a blister from wearing a shoe that’s too tight can cause a lot of damage. Diabetes decreases blood flow, so injuries are slow to heal. When your wound is not healing, it’s at risk for infection. As a diabetic, your infections spread quickly.

If you have diabetes, you should inspect your feet every day. You should look for puncture wounds, bruises, pressure areas, redness, warmth, blisters, ulcers, scratches, cuts and nail problems. Get someone to help you, or use a mirror.

The good news is that most of these problems can be prevented through regular podiatric visits, patient education, daily foot inspection and care, proper footwear, and early recognition and treatment of any suspected trouble areas. This can only be accomplished with active participation in your own care along with the help and guidance of your foot specialist.

Most Common Foot Problems for Diabetics:

1. Poor circulation

2. Infection

3. Calluses

4. Foot ulcers

5. Neuropathy

6. Charcot foot