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Diabetes and Foot Problems

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Diabetics are at risk for foot issues because high blood sugars can cause problems with the nerves and blood vessels in the body.  These are termed diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. If the blood sugars are high (hyperglycemia) it affects the nerves that conduct pain, temperature, vibration and positional sense. This leads to nerve damage causing symptoms of neuropathy.  Hyperglycemia also causes damage to the blood vessels. Having Diabetes puts you at risk for infections and sores that don’t heal, corns and calluses, cracked and dry skin, nail problems, hammertoes and bunions, brittle bones, blocked artery in calf, and Charcot foot. Here’s why:

Problem

Cause

Infections and ulcers (sores) that don’t heal

Neuropathy keeps patient from feeling ulcer and poor circulation = don’t heal

Corns and calluses

Neuropathy = don’t feel friction that causes corns and calluses

Dry, cracked skin

Poor circulation can make skin dry and a harmless crack can become a sore

Hammertoes and bunions

Motor neuropathy (nerve damage) can cause muscle weakness, loss of tone in the feet that result in hammertoes and bunions

Brittle bones

Neuropathy & circulation damage can cause osteoporosis which means more likely to break a bone

Charcot foot

Complex foot deformity that comes from loss of sensation

Blocked artery in calf

Blood vessels restrict blood flow, serious blocked artery might need vascular intervention

 

It’s very important you see your podiatrist if you are Diabetic and notice any of these foot problems! 

Photo Source: pixabay.com

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