Diabetes and the Foot
posted: Jun. 24, 2020.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly 10% of the United States population suffers from diabetes. Diabetes affects many things throughout the body including the nervous and circulatory systems. Diabetics are more susceptible to nerve damage, which may cause tingling, loss of feeling, and/or pain in the legs and feet. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be dangerous because a person may not feel a blister or wound that develops on their foot. Due to lack of sensitivity to that area, that person may not treat the wound or may not think it is serious, leading to more severe problems such as infection. Diabetes also affects the circulatory system. High blood glucose can cause damage to blood vessels. This can contribute to high blood pressure as well as make it harder for blood to reach the feet. The lack of blood flow in the legs and feet can cause your calves to cramp when walking, pain in the legs as well as make the healing process for wounds slower. To help prevent or minimize these conditions, it is important to work with your primary care physician or endocrinologist to manage your diabetes. It is also important to check your feet daily or have someone check your feet for any open wounds or sores, red areas or calluses. You should also see see your podiatrist or foot specialist regularly.