Blood sugar gives your body energy, but too much sugar leads to problems, which is precisely the issue when you have diabetes. If you have high amounts of sugar in your blood for extended periods, it can damage delicate nerves and blood vessels, leading to complications like peripheral artery disease (PAD).
PAD and other forms of nerve and blood vessel damage are especially dangerous for your feet because they impair circulation and feeling. That’s why it’s crucial to work with a skilled podiatrist and pay close attention to your feet on a daily basis, including physical changes to the skin and symptoms that affect sensation.
Our experienced team of podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating diabetes-related foot problems, including ulcerations and other wounds. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Center locations throughout Utah, we can help you preserve the health and function of your feet.
If you have diabetes, here’s why you need to pay special attention to your feet.
Diabetes increases your risk of foot amputation
About 85% of non-trauma-related foot amputations around the world are due to complications from diabetes.
Unfortunately, studies also show that amputation rates of feet and legs have been on the rise in the United States, especially among young adults with diabetes (ages 18-44) and those between 45-64 years of age.
Diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels
Spikes in your blood sugar damage the lining of your blood vessels, so it’s harder for blood to circulate throughout your body. This is especially serious for your feet because of gravity and their distance from your heart.
What’s more, high blood sugar and inflammation can also destroy or damage delicate nerves.
These risks make it crucial to watch your feet and legs for symptoms that could indicate damage, such as:
- Changes to skin
- Changes in foot or toe shape
- Dry soles, calluses, corns, or cracked heels
- Blisters, cuts, sores, or ulcers
- Ingrown toenails
Checking your feet may seem bothersome, but you should do so daily to catch any changes requiring medical attention as quickly as possible. In addition to checking your own feet, schedule regular diabetic foot care examinations at the Advanced Foot & Ankle Center nearest you, and don’t wait to book an appointment if you notice any foot changes.
Diabetes can cause serious foot problems, even without pain
It’s easy to ignore a problem when it doesn’t hurt, even if there’s an ulcer or lesion present. However, the lack of pain doesn’t indicate there isn’t a serious issue brewing. In fact, if you can see wounds or lesions and don’t feel pain, it could be a sign that you already have damaged nerves and blood vessels.
When you have diabetes, your feet can grow so numb that you can’t feel a piece of glass, thumbtack, or stone, even if it’s lodged in your foot.
Don’t wait to contact us if you think you could have a foreign object in your foot, or if you notice redness, swelling, or an open wound.
Even small wounds pose a risk if you have diabetes
If a cut or wound seems small, you may be tempted to put off coming to see us. However, all wounds could easily become infected if they don’t start to heal within a day or two, putting you at risk of serious complications.
Contact us as soon as possible if you notice an open wound, cut, or ulcer on your foot, especially if it’s oozing blood or pus. During your visit, we can thoroughly clean any injury on your feet and provide wound care instructions so your feet can heal.
We can also treat more mundane problems, like corns and ingrown toenails, which could otherwise lead to potentially dangerous complications in someone who has diabetes.
Don’t try to remove corns or calluses on your own. Over-the-counter products contain ingredients that can damage the skin on your feet, leading to bigger issues. Instead, come into Advanced Foot & Ankle Center for a safe evaluation, treatment, and removal if you notice any type of growth or lesion on your feet or toes.
Are you ready to get your diabetic feet the care and healing they need? Contact our specialists throughout Utah to schedule a consultation by calling or booking online today.