The most common reason diabetics are hospitalized in the United States is foot infections! Diabetes can be dangerous and devastating to your feet. Common causes of these foot infections include improperly cut toenails and poorly fitting shoes. That's right - something as simple as a visit to your podiatrist to have your nails trimmed and custom fit diabetic shoes can help to prevent amputations. Add poor circulation and lack of feeling, and you have a prescription for disaster for diabetic feet. Almost 75% of diabetic amputations can be prevented with good foot care habits! Did you know that all diabetics should visit their podiatrist at least once a year? This is the recommendation of the American Diabetes Association. Don't let a small problem with your diabetic feet lead to a devastating amputation - visit your podiatrist!
Common Diabetic Foot Problems
Diabetic Foot Ulcers: An ulcer is considered any break in the skin that does not heal in a reasonable amount of time, usually 7-10 days. Ulcers can form anywhere, but due to diabetic neuropathy and pressure, they are most common the feet. If you have an ulcer, especially if it is infected, you should consult your podiatrist as soon as possible to prevent complications.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that results from diabetes. Neuropathy can include numbness, burning, tingling, and total loss of feeling. The nerve damage in your feet can lead to ulcerations, and ulcerations can lead to amputations. Be sure to have your neuropathic feet checked frequently to avoid problems!
Charcot Foot: Charcot Foot, or Charcot Neuroarthropathy, is the complete collapse of the bones in the foot due to neuropathy. With neuropathy, there is a complete loss of sensation in the feet, therefore the bones become soft and the shape of the foot can change. This change in shape can make it difficult to walk, and it can lead to ulcerations due to skin breakdown in the area.
Diabetic Amputation Prevention: When you have diabetes, you must be aware of how foot problems can arise from disturbances of the skin, nails, nerves, bones, muscles, and blood vessels. To prevent diabetic amputations, start by seeing your podiatrist regularly to stay on top of any potential issues. It is also important for you and your family to keep a close eye out for any problems with your feet.