The rate of people with diabetes is growing every year, which means that more awareness needs to be brought to the topic of diabetic foot care. It is estimated that one in five diabetics who seek hospital care are there for treatments on their feet. With regular foot checks and consistent care, you can avoid falling in this statistical range.
You have enough to worry about with monitoring your diet and using medication to control your diabetes. If foot complications arise, it can limit your daily schedule and prevent you from enjoying some of your favorite activities.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Complications
Foot ulcers and nerve damage are common problems for people who have diabetes. These are some of the factors that might increase your risk of these problems:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Impaired circulation
- Immobility, usually due to coma, stroke, or other health problems
- Malnutrition, which can increase the risk of edema
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does diabetes increase the risk of foot problems?
When blood sugar levels are high, blood vessels and arteries can have restricted blood flow because they begin to narrow and harden. The blood vessels in the feet are far away from the heart, making them more vulnerable to circulation problems. When the circulation is restricted it decreases the amount of oxygen that flows to the nerves and muscles. As a result, nerve damage can occur and the body has a harder time fighting infection and healing wounds.
What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy?
When the nerves become damaged, you might experience a number of symptoms that indicate that neuropathy is occurring. These symptoms might include: pain, burning, numbness, reduced ability to sense temperature changes, tingling, sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, and loss of coordination or balance.
How do I get rid of it?
The diabetic foot care treatment depends on the severity of the problem and the types of symptoms that you are experiencing. It is important that you consult with a medical professional who can help you identify the exact diagnosis and the cause of symptoms. Make sure that you are monitoring your blood sugar and following the doctor’s recommendations to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Other treatments might include regular exercise, smoking cessation, medication, physical therapy, nerve stimulation and more. The good news is that many people have success with the treatment when the foot problems are caught early, so make sure to talk with a podiatrist if you suspect that you are experiencing diabetic foot problems.
Do I need to see my doctor first?
No. Pennsylvania is a Direct Access states. This means that you do not need to go to your doctor to get a prescription.
Will my diabetic foot problems go away on their own?
It’s possible that your diabetic foot problems might go away on its own, but it’s not likely… especially if you are still experiencing fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, most of our diabetic foot care patients think that their issues will just go away. The problem is that nerve damage can’t be reversed once it has occurred, and if the complications have progressed then it might take us longer to fix it. When you experience pain or discomfort, it is a warning signal from the body to indicate that there is a problem. The quicker you get in to see a qualified podiatrist, the faster you can be on your road to recovery.
What should I do now?
The first step to eliminating your problem is finding out what is causing it. Call 610-438-8899 right now, and schedule your Free Screen. You will get a free 30 minute appointment with one of our therapists so that you can get all your questions answered.