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The Link between Diabetes and Foot Health

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word diabetes? For many, it’s blood sugar. But, for our team at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center, it’s your feet.

Unfortunately, diabetes is one of the largest, farthest-reaching healthcare crises of the 21st century. This disorder impacts 10% of Americans, and the numbers continue to increase by 5% every year. But many don’t realize that one of the most common complications, impacting at least half of those with diabetes, involves diabetic neuropathy in the feet.

Our team of board-certified podiatrists understand the clear and present danger of foot problems among people with diabetes. This is why we provide specialized diabetic foot care, allowing our patients in Arlington and Dallas, Texas, to keep abreast of their foot health. 

Here’s a quick look at how diabetes can affect your feet and how we can help.

How diabetes affects your feet

Diabetes is a problem that causes your body to have a hard time regulating sugar levels — or glucose — in your bloodstream. These issues develop in one of two ways: you don’t produce enough (or any) insulin and/or you become insulin-resistant. The hormone insulin regulates your blood sugar levels.

The problem of this regulation disorder is that sugar in your blood can build up to dangerous levels, which leads to damage to your blood vessels. As a result, your body has a harder time getting oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood where it needs to go. Unfortunately, this is especially hard on your feet, where blood has to fight both gravity and distance.

Common foot problems seen with diabetes

Without a doubt, the most common diabetic foot threat is nerve damage (neuropathy). Also called peripheral or diabetic neuropathy, this complication develops from high blood sugar levels and fats (triglycerides) in your blood, which can cause irreversible nerve damage. 

As we mentioned, diabetic neuropathy affects 50% of people with diabetes, making the complication a very real concern. Nerve and vascular damage also makes those with diabetes more susceptible to other foot problems, including:

Even when you have foot conditions that don’t directly stem from diabetes, they require extra care because of the compromised vascular and nerve health in your feet.

Managing diabetic foot problems

The most critical thing you can do to protect your feet involves being aware of the potential dangers so you can have us address them at the first signs of trouble. There are several preventive measures you can take, but you should also seek our medical attention whenever you experience symptoms that include:

In fact, if you have diabetes, we highly recommend scheduling regular foot care appointments with us so that we can monitor your feet for any potential problems. That’s because the earlier we can intervene, the better we can stop serious and life-changing complications, like gangrene and amputation.

How to avoid diabetic foot problems

To reduce your risk for diabetic foot problems, we suggest taking preventive action, which includes:

And, don’t forget to keep your blood sugar levels regulated and controlled. 

With our help and oversight, we can help you better protect your foot health if you have a diabetes diagnosis. Simply call one of our convenient locations in Arlington or Dallas or use our easy online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

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