The Effects of Diabetes on the Feet

Diabetic foot careHave you hit the Bryan Park or Mills pools yet this season? Both are open for business and can be a great spot for fun and cooling off.  Swimming is also a great activity if you live with diabetes, but remember to take care of your feet while in the water. Complications from this disease can make picking up a fungal infection or sustaining an injury a potentially dangerous situation, and you can pin most of that on a one-two combo of negative effects it has on your body.

Diabetes complications can include two particularly nasty conditions where your feet are concerned: nerve damage and poor circulation. Nerve damage, also known as neuropathy, causes a loss of sensation in the feet, while poor circulation can choke the ability for wounds on your extremities to heal quickly, or even at all. Put together, these two problems can create a disastrous situation.

If you happen to pick up a cut or sore on your foot, it may be difficult or impossible to feel because of neuropathy. If it’s unable to heal quickly, you might continue to walk on it unknowingly, keeping the wound open or even making it worse. Infection can set in more easily this way, which makes the risk of losing the foot to amputation a frighteningly real possibility.

Wounds are not the only worry. If your shoes don’t fit well and you are unable to feel it, corns or calluses can build up from the resulting pressure and friction. These may eventually turn into ulcers. Poor circulation can also contribute to the drying out of your skin and a need for consistent moisturizing to prevent cracks that can worsen into sores. Weakened muscles from nerve damage can also lead to hammertoes and bunions as bones shift, which can also lead to sores as they rub against shoes.

You can see how things can turn into a vicious cycle here. This is why it’s so important to stop damage before it starts by properly managing your diabetes, inspecting your feet on a daily basis, and reporting any problems you find to a professional. Dr. Kevin Powers in Bloomington can be a strong resource when it comes to diabetic foot care. Call our office at (812) 333-4422 and schedule an appointment to discuss the best ways to protect your feet and take care of any problems you may have recently found.