How Your Blood Sugar Levels Can Affect Your Feet

How Your Blood Sugar Levels Can Affect Your Feet

If you have a health issue that prevents your body from properly regulating the levels of sugar in your blood, it is called diabetes. Each year in the United States, 1.4 million people are diagnosed with diabetes, which puts them at risk for some significant health complications, including damage to their feet.

To shed some light on the connection between high blood sugar levels and problems in your feet, the team of foot health experts here at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, with 10 locations across Tennessee, presents the following information.

A matter of glucose regulation

Another word for blood sugar is glucose, which needs to be regulated in your bloodstream. To do that, your pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that delivers glucose to your cells as needed.

If you’re taking in more glucose than your body can handle, you may develop insulin resistance or your pancreas may not be able to produce enough insulin to regulate the levels of sugar in your blood.

The inability to regulate your glucose is the source of diabetes, and the higher-than-normal levels of sugar can prove damaging to your body.

Blood sugar and your feet

One of the primary concerns when you have diabetes is nerve damage, which tends to occur in your feet. Called peripheral neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy, the condition affects nearly half of people with diabetes.

It occurs because high levels of blood sugar can damage the peripheral nerves and blood vessels in your feet.

Signs of peripheral neuropathy

There are some early warning signs of peripheral neuropathy, including:

One of our biggest concerns is that the numbness in your feet can prevent you from feeling when you have an injury, which can be as minor as a blister. As well, since high levels of blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your feet, the wound doesn’t have access to the resources it needs to properly heal, which can lead to treatment-resistant infections. 

We hesitate to use scare tactics, but in some cases, these infections can lead to irreparable tissue damage and the need to amputate to prevent the infection from spreading.

The importance of diabetic foot care

If you have diabetes, we can’t stress enough the importance of comprehensive diabetic foot care, which we offer here at our practice. Through vigilant monitoring and early intervention, we can help prevent foot damage.

For expert care of your feet when you’re having blood sugar issues, contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to set up an appointment.

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