Around 37 million Americans are affected by diabetes. That is 1 in 11 people in the country diagnosed with the disease. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose, or blood sugar, is too high. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and even your heart.
November we celebrated National Diabetes Awareness Month. November serves as a time to recognize this disease and the damage it causes to such a large population.
Did you know that your diabetes healthcare team should include a podiatrist?
There is a lot to manage when you are diagnosed with diabetes. One of those things is your feet. Diabetes can cause nerve damage and often that damage is located in the legs and feet. This damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet.
While losing all feeling is one symptom of nerve damage, it can also cause tingling or pain. Your feet may also lose the ability to feel heat and cold.
Numbness may sound like the best option, but it comes with consequences.
Pain is the body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Without that alert system, small cuts or blisters may not catch your attention and could get infected.
What can you do to prevent foot problems?
Healthy feet, even with diabetes, are attainable with just a little more effort. Daily maintenance and care are the best ways to keep your feet healthy. By checking your feet for cuts, sores, or blisters you will be better able to catch and treat them before they get infected. Be sure to check the bottom of the feet and if you need help seeing the bottom of your foot try using a mirror!
Other ways to prevent further foot issues caused by nerve damage are not smoking or stopping smoking, eating healthier, and getting at least 10-15 minutes of exercise per day.
When should you immediately come to see us at Gulf South Foot and Ankle?
Pain in your legs or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves during physical activity.
Tingling, burning, or pain in your feet.
Loss of sense of touch or ability to feel heat or cold very well.
A change in the shape of your feet over time.
Loss of hair on your toes, feet, and lower legs.
Dry, cracked skin on your feet.
A change in the color and temperature of your feet.
Thickened, yellow toenails.
Fungus infections such as athlete’s foot between your toes.
A blister, sore, ulcer, infected corn, or ingrown toenail.
An important part of being diagnosed with diabetes is having a team of trusted healthcare providers. Our great podiatrists are experienced with foot-related problems caused by diabetes. We know the best ways to keep you on your feet, literally.
Gulf South Foot and Ankle understands the stress and anxiety that comes with a diabetes diagnosis and we are here for you. Stay calm, stay healthy, and call us for any foot health needs.