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Understanding Diabetes-Related Foot Ailments

Your Arlington podiatrists at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center treat a lot of patients with a unique array of foot and ankle problems. These patients are high-performing athletes who put a lot of stress on their ankles, working adults who spend a lot of time on their feet, and Joe Six-packs who are dealing with minor aches and pains.

However, one of the most common patient demographics in our office are people dealing with foot problems caused by diabetes. Diabetes-related foot ailments can cause a wide variety of health problems that don’t just affect the feet.

In this blog, our team will cover the basics of diabetes-related foot problems and how to manage them. Ultimately, it takes discipline to keep your feet and your body healthy.

How does diabetes affect the feet?

Diabetes that isn’t well-managed can cause a number of health complications, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, blood vessel damage, and high blood pressure. But when it comes to the feet, nerve and blood vessel damage are two of the most common problems people with diabetes face. There are two primary foot conditions that affect people with diabetes:

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy is essentially nerve damage of the feet. It can manifest itself in many ways—tingling sensations, burning, pain, and numbness (which could become permanent). If you lose sensation in your feet, you might not be able to notice if your feet are injured or damaged in any way, which can increase your risk of infection. We’ll talk about tips for protecting your feet with this condition later on in this blog.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is the more extreme of the two conditions on this list. PVD causes veins and arteries in the feet to become restricted, which can lead to clogged and hardening of these passages. If blood flow is completely blocked in an artery in the foot, it can cause the loss of toes or the foot entirely, and catalyze organ damage in other areas of the body.

Treating Diabetes-Related Foot Conditions

If you have diabetes, your first step to avoiding foot-related complications is to manage your diabetes appropriately as advised by your physician. A poor diet or a lack of exercise will only exacerbate foot problems and accelerate the development of diabetes-related ailments.

It’s also important to be aware of the state of your feet at all times when dealing with diabetes-related foot ailments. Any damage to your feet that goes unnoticed could lead to further health complications, so check your feet daily and be sure to get immediate medical attention if you suffer a foot injury of any kind.

Trust Your Arlington Podiatrists

AllCare Foot & Ankle Center is your source for diabetes-related foot care—we’re happy to educate you on ways to better protect your feet and manage your PVD or diabetic neuropathy symptoms. Schedule an appointment with AllCare today!

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