Many people are aware that Diabetes affects the feet and chiropodists and podiatrists are often asked: “How?”.
Diabetes mainly affects the foot because of two factors which combine to place diabetics at risk of developing a range of foot problems, some of which are extremely severe.
These factors are Neuropathy and Poor Circulation.
The Affects of Diabetes
In Diabetes the nerves in the feet and legs can be effected. Often the diabetic patient may loose some degree of feeling in the feet, some areas may actually become numb (called Neuropathy). This may lead to a person with Diabetes not realising that they have a problem such as a cut, abrasion or even an ulcer.
Diabetes can also affect blood supply to and within your feet, this can delay healing and increase your risks of infection. This poor circulation, allied with decreased sensation in the feet, may for example lead to a situation where a diabetic patient stands on an object, breaking the skin. Due to poor circulation, an infection in the broken skin will be more likely, due to the poor circulation the wound may not heal well and due to the neuropathy the person may not even be aware that there is a problem at all.
If you have Diabetes please regularly check your feet and regularly attend a chiropodist or podiatrist who will be able to routinely monitor and screen you feet for potential problems.
“The risks of complications can be greatly reduced if you are able to bring your blood sugar levels under control. They are also reduced if blood pressure and cholesterol levels are monitored and controlled with medication if needed. Smoking is also not a good idea as it has adverse effect upon blood supply to your feet” (Feet For Life Website – www.feetforlife.org)