More than 1 in 10 people in the United States have diabetes, making it very common. While diabetes is both serious and chronic, effective care can help you thrive while managing it. And that care should definitely include your feet — especially if you hope to prevent diabetes complications.
Let’s delve into diabetes and your feet, including related health issues and smart ways to avoid or manage them.
Diabetes affects your ability to use or produce the hormone insulin, which leads to increased blood sugar — or glucose — levels. If left untreated or poorly managed, high blood sugar can damage nerves throughout your body and your feet. It can also interfere with normal circulation, reducing healthy blood flow to your ankles and feet.
Nerve damage and circulation problems associated with diabetes can affect your feet in a range of ways, with varying degrees of severity.
Diabetes-related foot symptoms you may be prone to include:
Up to half of people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy, or chronic nerve damage that affects your extremities. Related numbness can make it difficult to notice a cut on your foot, making you more vulnerable to infection. If a diabetic foot ulcer goes untreated, you risk amputation.
Following your diabetes treatment plan and taking care of your feet can go a long way toward keeping your feet healthy and staving off complications.
Steps we recommend for protecting your feet while living with diabetes include:
Exercising regularly can also benefit your diabetic feet by improving blood flow. In addition to any medication you need, eating a nutritious, balanced diet helps, too, by improving your blood sugar levels. The same goes for maintaining positive sleep habits and managing stress.
To learn more about diabetes and foot health or get started with the care you need, call Mayfair Foot Care or schedule an appointment using our online booking feature today.