Diabetes is a condition that impacts a wide range of people all around the world. With this condition, there are known to be many different side effects and there is potential for other conditions to arise. One area of particular concern for diabetics is their feet. The reality is that the feet are often at significant risk when you have diabetes, particularly if it is severe. In this article, we will discuss diabetes and how it impacts your feet.
Diabetes and Nerve Damage
Diabetes poses a risk to various parts of the body for different reasons. When it comes to concerns where feet are involved, the majority of the risk is focused on the potential for nerve damage. Since diabetes has the potential to cause nerve damage, particularly in the feet, there is an increased risk of injury in this area.
Our nerves are responsible for receiving feedback from our bodies. It is often how we assess risk, as well as how we determine if something is wrong. When these nerves are damaged, there is an increase in danger because we are not receiving the information that we need in order to assess our bodies and make good decisions. Given this lack of feedback, we run the risk of failing to acknowledge potential problems as they arise.
The Impacts of Diabetic Nerve Damage on Feet
Nerve damage is an area of particular concern because of how it feels, as well as what it means for us. With diabetic nerve damage, there is often a wide range of uncomfortable sensations. In a lot of cases, sufferers will feel an unpleasant tingling in their feet. In other cases, they might feel nothing at all, which can be particularly dangerous. In every circumstance, the feet simply do not feel right, which can lead to unintentionally poor judgment.
The Risks of Diabetes For Your Feet
A lack of sensitivity in the feet can be dangerous for a few reasons. The first issue surrounds the lack of feeling and a potential for injury. Many of us know how awkward it is to walk on a foot that has fallen asleep. For diabetics, this can be a constant experience, which puts them at particular risk of injury. If you are not getting the appropriate feedback, there is no way to guarantee that you are moving your foot correctly at all. Worse, these injuries can go unnoticed, leading the individual to continue to talk on a damaged foot. In some cases, this might worsen the injury significantly.
Beyond normal injury, there is also an increased risk of infection. It is fairly common for sores or abrasions to develop. It might be because of unnoticed rubbing or an unrecognized injury. Regardless, the potential for increased problems is there. An untreated infection can spread and cause the affected individual to run the risk of losing their foot entirely. A simple infection on the bottom of the foot can turn into an amputation if you are not careful, which is why it is important to continuously check out your feet and ensure that they are in good order.
In other cases, the damage to your foot can lead to unpleasant changes to the foot itself. You might find your foot is perpetually swollen or will take on a new shape completely. This unpleasant experience is not common, but it is a potential risk that should be looked out for to ensure that proper care can be taken when necessary. It is better to be safe than sorry.
What You Can Do
Managing the potential impacts of diabetes on your feet is really a matter of remaining vigilant. Your feet might not be offering the feedback that you need to make good choices. Since that is the case, regularly checking out your feet is a very important thing to do, particularly when infection risks are high. Pairing this with good hygiene habits and visits to the podiatrist when necessary, you can keep your feet safe despite the impacts of diabetes.
In order to ensure that your feet stay healthy, it is always best to speak with a podiatrist directly. At the first sign of problems, consider making an appointment. Working with a professional can help you to manage a successful treatment plan that will have truly wonderful long-term results. When in doubt, it never hurts to ask. Your feet are counting on you to keep them safe, so make sure that you keep an eye out for them!