Foot problems are a common complication of diabetes. Diabetes is an illness that affects how the body utilizes glucose: a sugar source that fuels the body. Usually, insulin (a hormone) helps glucose get into the body for energy. Diabetic individuals do not produce enough insulin. Thus, there is no glucose in their body cells. As a result, too much sugar in their blood, making them ill, resulting in medical complications.
Foot problems associated with diabetes are often caused by poor blood circulation and nerve damage. Foot deformities, trauma, infections, sores, or ulcers can result in problems with your feet. Foot problems are the most common cause of hospitalizations related to diabetes. Moreover, diabetes is the primary cause of lower leg and foot amputation. Research, technology, and most significantly, diligence by diabetic patients can greatly enhance diabetes management and minimize the risk of foot complications. Nevertheless, this blog seeks to discuss the warning signs of diabetes in Utah County, UT, and the best diabetic foot care and treatment.
Effects of Diabetes on your Feet
Diabetes can cause two issues that can affect your feet.
· Diabetic neuropathy
Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the nervous system. Individuals with damaged nerves on their legs and feet experience sensory diabetic neuropathy – the inability to feel pain, heat, or cold in their legs and feet. If you do not feel a sore or a cut on your foot due to neuropathy, the injury could get worse and become infected. Your foot muscles may not work properly since the nerves are damaged. This could lead to improper alignment in your feet, creating too much pressure on the part of your foot.
· Peripheral vascular disease
Diabetes also affects blood flow. When your blood does not flow well, a sore or cut can take longer to heal. Poor blood flow in your arms and legs is called peripheral neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease. If you have an infection that does not heal due to poor blood flow, you are at risk of developing skin ulcers or gangrene. (blood vessels that supply your toes and fingers with blood).
Diabetic Foot Problems
Any individual can get diabetic foot problems. For diabetic individuals, however, these foot problems can lead to infection and serious complications, like an amputation. So, what do your feet look like when you have diabetes?
· Calluses. A callus is a buildup of hard skin, often o the foot’s underside. Calluses are caused by uneven weight distribution. They can also be caused by poorly fitting shoes or a skin problem. It is normal to have some foot calluses, and your doctor will determine if they are causing problems.
· Ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails happen when your nail edges grow into your skin, causing pressure and pain., redness, swelling, and infection. The most common cause of ingrown toenails is high pressure from new shoes.
· Diabetic ulcers. A foot ulcer is a deep sore or a break in the skin that can become infected. Foot ulcers can occur from minor scrapes, cuts that heal slowly, or the rubbing of poorly fitting shoes. It is fundamental to treat foot ulcers immediately you notice them. Seek advice from our medical experts on the best diabetes care for your foot ulcers.
· Plantar warts. Plantar warts look like calluses on the heel or ball of the feet. They may appear to have tiny black spots or small pinholes in the center. Plant warts are often painful and may grow singly or in clusters. They are caused by a virus that infects the outer skin layer on your feet soles. If you are uncertain whether you have plantar warts or calluses, let our experts decide. We have several techniques to remove calluses.
· Dry skin. Dry skin cracks, which allows germs to enter your body. Using moisturizing soaps and lotions can help keep your skin moist and soft. Consult our experts on the ideal ones to utilize.
· Bunions. Bunions form when your big toe ends toward your second toe. Usually, the spot where your big toes join your feet becomes red and callused.
· Charcot’s foot. Diabetes weakens your feet’ bones so much that they break. Nerve damage lessens sensation and prevents you from realizing it. If you continue walking on broken bones, your feet may change shape.
· Deformities. Nerve damage causes muscle weakness in your feet and leads to clawing feet and hammertoes.
When you notice any of the above diabetic foot problems, do not hesitate to consult The Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute professionals for medical advice. We can help you best learn to treat the feet complications.
Does Diabetic Foot Sore?
A diabetic foot sore can cause serious health issues if not treated as soon as possible. Some of the signs of a diabetic foot sore include;
· Skin color change
· Pain in the legs
· Skin temperature change
·Corns or calluses
·Foot or ankle swelling
· Unusual foot odor
· Ingrown toenails or toenails affected with fungus
· Calluses dry cracks, especially around the heel
· Legs open sores on the feet that heal slowly
If you notice any of these signs, contact our medical professionals to schedule an appointment.
Diabetic Feet Treatment and Care
Proper diabetic foot care can prevent common feet problems, or you can consider treating them before they lead to serious foot problems. Below are some of the best diabetic foot care and treatment techniques recommended by our experienced podiatrists to maintain healthy feet.
·Take proper care of yourself and your diabetes. Follow your doctor’s advice regarding medication, nutrition, and exercise. Keep your blood sugar levels within the doctor’s recommended range.
· Keep your feet clean with daily washing using warm water and mild soap. Test the water temperature with your elbow since nerve damage can also affect sensation in your hands. Do not soak your feet. Dry them well, especially between the toes
· Check your feet daily for redness, sores, calluses, blisters, or any other feet problems. If your blood flow is poor, it is crucial to check your feet daily.
· Wear shoes that fit properly. Buy shoes made of leather or canvas and break them in slowly. Specialty stores also sell extra wide shoes. These allow more room for your feet if you have a foot deformity.
· Avoid smoking. Smoking can make issues with blood flow worsen.
·Keep the blood flowing to your feet. When sitting, put your feet up, wiggle your toes, and move your ankles several times daily. Also, do not cross your legs for long periods.
· Always wear socks or stockings that fit your feet properly and have soft elastic.
· Protect your feet from extreme temperatures. Wear shoes on hot pavement or at the beach. Wear at night if your feet get cold.
· Always wear closed shoes or slippers. Do not wear sandals or walk barefoot, even around the house.
· Ensure your diabetes specialist checks your feet during each checkup. Get a thorough foot exam once a year.
· See a podiatrist (foot doctor) every 2-3 months for a checkup, regardless of whether you have any feet problems.
Get Back On Track, Contact our Expert Podiatrist in Utah County!
Diabetic patients are exposed to the risk of infections and injuries on their feet. Proper diabetic foot care and attention are a necessity. Our licensed and certified podiatrists have extensive experience and knowledge in diabetic foot care. We highly recommend that you contact our expert podiatrist in Utah County at the first sign of a foot injury. Diabetes often causes swelling in your feet, resulting in constricted blood flow to your feet. If you experience any diabetic foot problems, call us at 801-756-4200 to request an appointment. Our enthusiastic team of podiatrists offers various feet and ankle services at affordable prices. Get back on track and contact us today.