How Diabetes Can Affect Your Foot Health

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Foot Health

The prevalence of diabetes in the United States is alarming — more than 34 million people are already diagnosed, and an additional 88 million are considered prediabetic. Of the many concerns that come with a diabetes diagnosis, foot health is among the most significant.

As experts in foot health, the team here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle understands the serious complications that can arise when you have diabetes, ranging from mild nerve damage in your feet to amputation.

As part of our comprehensive podiatry care, we offer specialized services that address diabetic foot health. Through expert preventive care, we can preserve the health of your feet in the face of diabetes.

Here’s how.

Understanding how diabetes affects your feet

Diabetes, and we’re mainly referring to the more common form — type 2 diabetes — is a condition in which your body is unable to properly regulate the glucose levels in your bloodstream. 

Under normal circumstances, your pancreas produces insulin — the hormone responsible for delivering the sugar in your blood to your cells. When you have type 2 diabetes, your cells become resistant to insulin, and your pancreas is unable to produce enough to overcome the resistance. As a result, glucose, or blood sugar, builds up to dangerous levels in your blood.

Those high levels of glucose can damage the nerves in your body, especially the peripheral nerves in your lower extremities, including your feet. As well, unregulated glucose can also hamper your circulation, which can exacerbate any problem that develops in your feet.

One of the primary diabetic foot problems is peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage in your feet. About half of people with diabetes develop neuropathy.

The second problem stems from the insufficient circulation in your feet, putting you at risk of ulcers and infection. The problem can be very serious and lead to amputation.

Managing your foot health and your diabetes

To avoid the serious foot complications caused by diabetes, our team emphasizes preventive care. We recommend that anyone with diabetes come to see us regularly so that we can monitor your feet and intervene at the earliest signs of a problem.

That early intervention is critical because, as we’ve explained, a simple sore in your foot can quickly lead to an infection that your body is unable to fight off. 

As well, we can also take steps at the first signs of neuropathy to prevent further nerve damage. For example, early neuropathy is a wake-up call to redouble your efforts to manage your blood sugar levels. We can do our part by recommending the proper footwear and outfitting you with orthotics that can better preserve nerve health.

When you have diabetes, it’s paramount that you have the best medical teams in your corner, including one that focuses on your foot health. That team can be found at any one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Columbia, Pulaski, Gallatin, or Lebanon, Tennessee. Simply click here to learn more.

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