A diabetes diagnosis changes your life. You probably adjust your diet and visit your doctor more regularly. You might avoid certain foods while trying to eat more of others. And you start checking your feet regularly. Or, at least, you should.
Your body’s inability to keep your blood sugar regulated can spell problems for your feet. Fortunately, Christopher Vittori, DPM, Ameet Thakrar, DPM, and our team here at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offer specialized diabetic foot care. Visit our offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, for the support you need to keep your feet healthy.
We also want to equip you to monitor your feet at home. To help there, let’s look at why people with diabetes have a heightened likelihood of foot problems. This can help you understand why regular foot checks are so important.
When the sugar in your blood stays at high levels, it can damage your nerves. This leads to a condition called diabetic neuropathy.
As your nerves get damaged, they lose their ability to relay messages to your brain. That means you lose sensation in your feet.
When most people get a cut or a blister on their feet, they feel it. They change to different shoes or bandage the area to protect it so it can heal.
But if your feet don’t register pain in the area that’s injured, you might not even know you have an injury. This means you’re more likely to not just injure your feet, but also to let issues go unattended, potentially allowing them to worsen.
Unfortunately, sensation loss isn’t the only foot issue with which a diabetic has to contend. Your condition also reduces circulation in your feet. And that makes injuries slower and harder to heal, even when you do spot them.
Medical experts call these diabetic ulcers, and they’re one of the leading causes of hospital stays for people with diabetes.
Once a diabetic gets a blister or cut on their foot, it usually takes longer to heal than it would in a non-diabetic. Plus, lessened blood flow in your feet also makes you more likely to develop an infection, including gangrene.
The combination of lessened sensitivity and decreased blood flow can be dangerous. It’s why you hear about foot amputations in people with diabetes.
Fortunately, getting the foot care you need can be easy. Start by checking your feet regularly and visiting our team whenever you notice any issues. Jumping on problems as soon as they develop goes a long way toward keeping your feet healthy.
To get started with diabetic foot care, call Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist or schedule an appointment online today.