In his classic, 1974 song “Sundown,” Gordon Lightfoot sings:
Sometimes, I think it’s a shame/
When I get fellin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain.
It might not have been his intent, but Lightfoot actually has a good point about feeling no pain. If you cannot feel pain, it really is a shame!
We previously discussed how the word “diet” has negative associations, when perhaps it shouldn’t. Well, the same can sometimes go for “pain.” Sure, it obviously hurts when it’s present, but this is your body’s way of letting you know there is an issue. Even worse than feeling pain is not having any sensation at all! To have numb feet means you can’t tell when there is an issue, and this can become a major problem.
Nerve damage (neuropathy) is one of many issues that develop because of diabetes. The heightened sugar levels in the bloodstream damage the nerves and can leave you unable to feel pain.
Even a minor cut or scrape can become a serious problem if you are not aware of it. Without knowing there is a problem, you won’t take measures to address it, like cleaning the wound and covering it with a bandage.
Diabetes also impairs the body’s abilities to fight infections and heal wounds. All of this means that a minor wound can potentially break down to the point it becomes a dangerous foot ulcer – the leading cause of limb amputation (excluding auto accidents).
If you experience cramping and pain in the leg following physical activity, this is a warning sign of bigger issues. Think about this as if ALL of the warning lights on your dashboard are going off at the same time! You should be able to comfortably walk for 30 minutes at a time. If you cannot, this is an issue and you should come in to see us.
Diabetes has serious implications for your entire physical health. You may start to recognize issues in your lower limbs (like numb feet), but they will also affect other areas of your body, including vital organs like your eyes, kidneys, and heart.
For more information on diabetic foot care, or any of the other foot care services we offer, give us a call at (317) 545-0505. You can also contact our Indianapolis, IN foot doctor office online today!