While we often discuss ways that people with diabetic foot wounds can be treated at our Indianapolis podiatrist office, it is also important to take a step back and describe some of the most common issues people with diabetes face. Unfortunately, people with diabetes can develop many different foot problems. Foot problems in those with diabetes typically occur as a result diminished or loss of sensation in the foot called neuropathy or as a result of poor circulation or blood flow to the lower leg, foot and toes. Those with neuropathy or poor circulation should be seen by a foot specialist regularly.
Diabetes can affect the nerves in the lower extremity diminishing the ability to feel pain, heat and cold. A diabetic with neuropathy could develop a foot sore, an ingrown toenail, walk with a stone or nail in their shoe, develop a blister or other problem and, because of a lack of sensation, not discover the problem until the foot has become infected. Neuropathy can also cause the bones of the foot to change and the shape of the foot to change. It is important for diabetics, especially those with neuropathy, to talk with their physician about wearing diabetic therapeutic shoes to better accommodate the foot and help to prevent complications.
Poor circulation (blood flow) can make it difficult for a sore on the lower leg, foot or toes to heal. Diabetes causes the blood vessels of the leg and foot to narrow and harden making it difficult for blood to flow to the lower leg and foot. A few signs of poor circulation in the legs and feet are absent hair growth, dry skin, cold feet, and/or blue or purple (cyanosis) discoloration of the skin. Leg cramps and pain in the calf when walking that subsides with a few moments of rest. Difficulty healing a sore on the foot or lower leg may also be due to poor blood flow.
If you are diabetic and believe you may be dealing with poor blood circulation or neuropathy, please reach out to our Indianapolis area office today to set an appointment with our expert podiatrists.