How does diabetes affect my feet?

Man pulling up striped socks with dress shoes beside himThere are many connections between diabetes and the health of your feet. Given the wide-ranging effects this disease has on your body, this shouldn’t be particularly surprising. When you observe these signs of diabetes in your lower limbs, you need to understand that you are at risk for serious medical complications. You can feel “OK” while running blood sugar but don’t be fooled; bad things are happening. It may take 5-10 years for these complications to become noticeable.

Some of the effects diabetes has on foot health include:

  • Skin changes. Specific skin changes from diabetes includes excessive dryness, loss of hair, thinning, and loss of stretch (called tugor).
  • Neuropathy. Elevated blood sugar levels cause nerve damage.  The first effect is a loss a decrease in sensation. It can then progress to pain without a cause.
  • Poor circulation. Restricted blood flow from diabetes contributes to ulceration and risk for Charcot foot, a dangerous collapse of the foot structure. Remember, what is happening in your foot is also happening in your heart.
  • Calluses. Diabetic individuals are subject to more frequent callus buildup. This becomes a major concern when they break down and become ulcers.
  • Foot ulcers. Ulcers are tissue breakdown, which is a leading cause of limb amputation. This is the endgame when all the above occur (the perfect storm)

Issues that might not seem that important, or perhaps would not be a major concern for an otherwise healthy individual, can potentially become more serious when left unaddressed. Do not let this happen to you! Instead, come see us here at our Indianapolis, IN foot doctor office. Diabetic foot care is one of the many services we provide, so give us a call at (317) 545-0505 or request your appointment online today.