Why Do People With Diabetes Need to Check Their Feet?
People with long-standing diabetes have an increased risk of developing certain conditions that may affect their feet. Without proper care, these conditions may lead to severe complications such as foot ulcers, infections, and amputations. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic amputations in the world.
Neuropathy is a loss of nerve function that typically begins in your hands and feet. With poorly controlled diabetes, affected nerves can cause sensations of burning, tingling, and numbness. Because of these abnormal sensations, you are more susceptible to foot injuries. You may unknowingly stub your toe or step on something sharp. Even excess pressure from your shoes can lead to an injury.
Blood Vessel Damage
The small and large blood vessels in your feet and legs can also be damage with prolonged diabetes. This results in limited blood flow and poor healing. If your foot is injured or develops an ulcer or an infection, it will be more difficult to heal due to the inadequate blood supply.
Check Your Feet Daily!
In addition to routine foot evaluations by a podiatrist, it is very important for everyone with diabetes to examine their bare feet at least once a day. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror. Check for any cuts, sores, blisters, or pressure spots. Also, examine the insides of your shoes for any sharp rocks or other debris, and make sure your shoes fit properly.
If you notice any changes to your feet, notify your podiatrist immediately.