Although many people think “blood sugar” when they think about diabetes, they may not realize that nerve damage and blood vessel damage are also potential consequences of the disease. Another fact is that lower leg amputation is not a rare complication.
At AllCare Foot & Ankle Center in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, board-certified podiatrist and wound care specialist Dr. Michael Tran and his highly trained staff help our patients better understand diabetic foot care.
We provide outstanding care to help you enjoy the healthiest most functional feet possible. When your feet are healthy, you can lead a more active life that includes physical movement, hobbies, social activities, and meeting your day-to-day obligations.
When you have diabetes, the levels of glucose circulating in your blood are higher than they should be. Too much glucose can damage your blood vessels and your nerve endings. The nerves in your feet are particularly vulnerable.
Although diabetes raises your risk of developing certain conditions, you can mitigate those risks by taking good care of your feet. Common issues for people with diabetes include:
When you have diabetic neuropathy, the high levels of blood glucose have damaged your nerve endings. You may lose feeling and the perception of certain sensations in your feet. For example, you may not feel a small cut or blister.
If you don’t notice you have an injury, you may not clean it properly and you’re at a higher risk of infection. An unchecked infection can lead to complications like gangrene or amputation.
Along with damaging your nerves, high blood glucose levels can damage your blood vessels. When that happens, you develop peripheral vascular disease.
Your blood can’t circulate properly to your feet, which means that any injuries you may have don’t heal as quickly as they should, which, again, increases your risk of developing an infection.
After you understand the potential dangers of diabetes for your feet, you can take some steps to care for them.
The most important thing is controlling your blood sugar. By keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level, you can prevent nerve damage so you don’t develop neuropathy. If you already have some nerve damage, controlling your blood sugar can prevent it from progressing.
Here are some tips to protect your feet:
Dr. Tran and our team are experts in helping people with diabetes care for their feet. When you come to our office regularly, we can provide advice that is specific to your life and circumstances. We can also provide preventive care and address any potential issues early.
Depending on your situation, Dr. Tran may suggest more frequent visits. If you ever have the following symptoms, schedule an appointment immediately:
If you have diabetes, schedule an appointment for a regular exam today. We’re always happy to answer your questions and protect your feet.