Consequently, without proper care and attention, diabetic foot complications can be wide-ranging and severe, including everything from nerve issues to chronic wounds to extraordinary injuries and deformities.
It is a lot to take in, and you may several unanswered questions; how big is the risk? What can happen to your feet? I’m here to inform you not to worry; this blog will answer all of your prayers and provide you with all the knowledge you need to prevent troublesome outcomes.
What can happen to my diabetic feet?
Your nerves can become faulty – Our bodies use nerves to transmit signals and connect tissues from the body to the brain. They are responsible for your sense of touch and pain, but also to control muscle movement, regulate digestion, blood pressure and other ‘automatic’ systems.
High blood sugar levels can poison our nerves and cause inflammation that can pinch or block them. The nerves in our feet and legs are particularly vulnerable; you may first begin to experience a tingling or burning sensation. Later, your legs may go entirely numb causing you to lose significant muscle strength and coordination.
Your blood stops pumping – As our feet and toes are furthest away from the heart, they already receive less blood flow than other vital organs. Diabetes can worsen this issue.
Your feet become injured more frequently – Unfortunately, this is a result of nerve and circulatory problems. If your nerves don’t work, you’re less likely to notice any cuts, blisters, ingrown toenails, or in severe cases, broken bones. Furthermore, if you suffer from poor circulation, your body cannot heal tissue or fight off any illness that may result in infection.
Your feet become structurally deformed – Bones, ligaments, and tendons weaken without the nutrients they need. Therefore, they are more likely to tear, crack or snap. Again, people who have diabetes are more likely to develop structural deformities like bunions and hammertoes due to the above issues.
You could lose your foot – In worst-case scenarios, amputation is necessary. Usually, this will only occur if you develop a deformity beyond repair or if an infection spreads to bones and permanently kills a portion of healthy cells.
Your lifestyle can be critically affected – This applies to amputation cases, but nerve damage can slowly eat away and restrict your lifestyle, taking away all independence.
How to prevent diabetic foot complications?
So, what is your game plan?
Give yourself a daily checkup – Check your feet accurately for cuts, bruises, lumps, swelling and anything that looks like it is not healthy.
Keep your sugar in check – Diabetes does most of its damage due to high blood glucose levels. If you’re efficiently controlling your glucose with an appropriate diet and insulin, your feet will stay healthier for longer.
Keep your feet clean – You should wash your feet at least once a day, using mild soap and lukewarm water. Why not add a moisturiser into the mix? Applying an excellent lotion to cracked areas will help cure your dry skin.
Support your feet with appropriate footwear – It is imperative you remember to never go barefoot, even inside your own home. Ensure your shoes are comfortable and closed-toe, and if your struggling, consult with your doctor or podiatrists; they can provide custom Diabetic shoes and orthotics.
Participate in safe exercise – This may be the most critical way to manage your sugar and keep circulation as strong as possible. However, you must make a plan with your doctor before beginning.
Limit your vices – Alcohol abuse and smoking increase the risk of diabetic-related complications and injuries. To put it simply, you must cut them out of your life.
You must see your podiatrist regularly, at least once a year, for an extensive check-up. They will not only take care of any ongoing issues but also test your nerves for any early warning signs of damage. Furthermore, podiatrists will be able to determine whether or not you will benefit from additional proactive, preventative treatments such as diabetic shoes.