As a diabetic, you need to pay special attention to your feet. On top of controlling your blood sugar levels, daily foot checks are important to ensure your feet remain healthy and disease-free.
One of the biggest risks involved with diabetes is tissue damage in the lower limbs, which can lead to amputation. Over 200 Americans go through amputations every day due to diabetes. If you want to keep your feet healthy, be on the lookout for early signs and symptoms of problems, such as pain and unhealing wounds.
What Causes Diabetic Foot Pain?
High blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels throughout the body, but especially those in the lower extremities. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy. Most diabetic patients complain of sensory neuropathy, which causes pain, tingling, and numbness in the feet. You may experience a burning or shooting kind of pain or tingling, akin to feeling an electric current in your feet. The pain may be disproportionate to the pressure applied to it. For instance, your feet brushing against something can cause pain. Diabetic foot pain can be so bad that you may have trouble sleeping at night.
You can feel pain with diabetes, but you can also experience numbness, sometimes even concurrently. For this reason, you need to do daily checks on your feet, because you may not feel if the water is too cold or hot. In addition, you may not notice that you’ve cut, scraped, or scratched the skin on your feet. Since diabetics have poor blood circulation, wound healing can be very slow, sores and blisters could form, and an infection could develop, which could progress quickly into necrosis or tissue death. Under these conditions, it can potentially lead to an amputation.
Motor neuropathy can also set in, which affects the muscles in the legs and feet. The muscles can become weak and achy and cause a wobbly manner of walking and loss of balance. For this reason, diabetic patients generally need to wear orthopedic shoes. These special shoes not only help with balance but also help protect feet from wounds.
How To Keep Your Feet — And Keep Them Healthy
Keeping blood sugar levels under control can help prevent the worsening of symptoms of diabetic foot. Accompanied with proper diabetic foot care and regular visits to the foot and ankle doctor, you too can have healthy feet and avoid amputation.
Foot and Ankle Doctors for Diabetic Foot
Our foot and ankle doctors at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care provide the highest quality diabetic foot care to our patients. We care for moderate-risk (no symptoms of nerve damage) and high-risk (symptoms of nerve damage) patients and can treat the full range of diabetic foot conditions and complications. We love keeping our patients’ feet as healthy as possible. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our patients keep their limbs. For expert diabetic foot care, call the Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care clinic nearest to you or use our convenient online request form. We look forward to your call/visit!