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Why Do Diabetics Have Foot Problems


Having Diabetes Means Youre At Much Greater Risk Of Developing Foot Problems

Do All Diabetics Have Foot Problems?

This is because raised blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, can damage the sensation in your feet.;

It can also affect your circulation, which can lead to you getting less blood supply to your feet. Without a good blood supply you may have problems with cuts and sores healing. You may also get cramps and pain in your legs or feet.;

If you dont get these problems treated, they could lead to foot ulcers, infections and, at worst, amputations. Most foot problems can be prevented with good, regular foot care.

During the;coronavirus;pandemic, most routine appointments like your annual diabetes review have been cancelled or postponed.;You should be able to reschedule once things go back to normal.

In the meantime, follow your current routine including;checking your feet daily, keep to a;healthy diet;and try to;keep active.;If you spot something new you’re concerned about, like a;cut or blister on your foot, call your GP straight away and explain your situation. If you can’t get through, call 111 for advice.;


If you’re already having treatment for a foot problem;and you don’t have coronavirus symptoms, then your appointments should still carry on. If you’re worried about going to your clinic or hospital at this time or want to check whether your appointment is still going ahead, contact your diabetes team or call the number on your appointment letter.

Diabetic Feet Dont Always Have To Be Cold

While diabetics have a tendency to have colder feet; there are a variety of causes behind the issue. Because of this, its important to talk to your doctor about your cold feet and ways to combat it. Through the use of diabetic cotton socks, home remedies, and a dedication to your overall health, you can combat your cold feet and move through your day with warm toes again.

Peripheral Artery Disease Symptoms

Peripheral artery disease symptoms include:

  • Intermittent claudication

    In the most severe case, as mentioned above, due to a combination of decreased sensation and reduced blood flow to the feet, ulcers may develop. If the tissues continue to receive insufficient oxygen, tissue death occurs. Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. Other potentially serious problems that may develop include cellulitis and osteomyelitis ; also is possible.

    People with diabetes are at increased risk for milder problems with the feet that are not specific to diabetes but may occur more frequently due to problems with the nerves and circulation to the feet.


    Some of these conditions are:

    • and corns, that may develop due to abnormal alignment of the feet or abnormal gait
    • Fungal infections of the nails, which can appear as thickened, discolored, and at times brittle nails
    • Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot, a fungal infection of the skin of the feet
    • Hammertoes, or bent toes due to muscle weakness.
    • Bunions, or the angling of the big toe toward the second toe. The area of the bunion may become reddened and irritated, leading to formation.

      Other types of foot problems can be relieved by proper footwear, sometimes with orthotic devices, and splinting or bracing. For some conditions like hammertoes, bunions, and ingrown toenails; surgery may be necessary to correct severe cases.

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      What Do The Results Mean

      If a problem is found, your foot doctor or other provider will likely recommend more frequent testing. Other treatments may include:

      • Antibiotics to treat foot infections
      • Surgery to help with bone deformities

      There is no treatment for nerve damage to the foot, but there are treatments that can relieve pain and improve function. These include:


      • Medicine
      • Physical therapy to help with balance and strength

      If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.

      What You Can Do Now

      Foot Care for Diabetes

      Diabetes is a sneaky disease. In many cases, it doesnt cause unusual symptoms. If you dont have symptoms, you may think the disease is under control and not take it seriously. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar isnt well-managed, take steps immediately to get it under control, even if you dont have symptoms. Take your diabetes medications and talk to your doctor about the best diet and exercise plan for your situation.

      If youre not regularly checking your feet, start now. It only takes a few minutes each day. Make checking your feet part of your morning or evening routine.

      To keep your feet as healthy as possible:

      • Wash them every day and dry them thoroughly. Apply a light coating of petroleum jelly to help prevent skin cracking.
      • Dont remove callouses, bunions, corns, or warts by yourself. Get assistance from a podiatrist or your doctor.
      • Trim your toenails straight across, and try not to cut them too short.
      • Dont go barefoot indoors or outdoors.
      • If you have trouble finding comfortable shoes that fit properly, talk to your doctor about prescription diabetic shoes.
      • Wear closed-toe shoes.
      • Avoid shoes with pointy toes.
      • Dont soak your feet.
      • Moisture between the toes may lead to infection, so try applying cornstarch between your toes to keep the skin dry.

      Amputation doesnt have to be part of your diabetes journey. If you do all you can to manage your blood sugar and care for your feet, youll reduce your risk of major complications.


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      How Can I Prevent Diabetes

      The best thing you can do to prevent skin problems is to keep blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your healthcare provider. Proper skin care can lower your chances of getting a skin rash, infection or wound thats difficult to heal.

      Take these steps to prevent skin problems:

      • Check your skin daily for signs of rashes, redness, infections or sores.
      • Use warm water and moisturizing soap in the shower.
      • Pat skin dry with a towel , making sure to dry in between fingers, toes and skin folds.
      • Apply fragrance-free moisturizers after showering while skin is still damp and soft. Look for creams and ointments with ceramide to help skin retain moisture.
      • Apply creams containing 10% to 25% urea to cracked, dry heels at bedtime.
      • Prevent dehydration and keep skin hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
      • Treat cuts and wounds immediately with soap and water. Use antibiotic ointments only if your healthcare provider gives the OK. Bandage the wound daily. Call your provider if you notice signs of redness, pain, drainage or infection.
      • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

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      Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

      Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:

      • You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes

      • Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted

      If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.

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      Does Everyone With Diabetes Deal With Amputation

      In 2010, 73,000 American adults who have diabetes and are over age 20 had amputations. That may sound like a lot, but amputations account for only a small percentage of the over 29 million people in the United States with diabetes. Better diabetes management and foot care has caused lower limb amputations to be reduced by half over the last 20 years.

      With ongoing diabetes management, foot care, and wound care, many people with diabetes can limit their risk of amputation or prevent it entirely.


      The best way to prevent amputation and other severe diabetes complications is to manage your blood sugar. There are several ways you can do this, including:

      • eating a healthy diet of lean meats, fruits and vegetables, fiber, and whole grains
      • avoiding sugar-sweetened juice and soda
      • reducing stress
      • exercising for at least 30 minutes daily
      • maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure
      • checking your blood sugar levels regularly
      • taking your insulin and other diabetes medications as directed by your doctor

      Good foot care may help you prevent wounds or ulcers from becoming problematic. Some foot care tips are:

      Report any foot problems and neuropathy symptoms such as numbness, burning, and tingling to your doctor right away.

      Support Your Feet With Diabetes

      How To Take Care Of Diabetic Foot Problems | Prevent Diabetic Foot Ulcers & Amputations

      Shoe shopping for people with diabetes requires a little more attention to detail than you may be used to. Tillett advises looking for shoes with more depth in the toe box, good coverage of both top and bottom, and without seams inside the shoe that can rub on your foot. Likewise, seek socks without seams, preferably socks that are padded and made from cotton or another material that controls moisture.

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      Why Do People With Diabetes Have Foot Problems

      Remember that diabetes foot problems are;directly linked to diabetes management. If your diabetes is under control and your glycated haemoglobin stays below 7%, there is no reason you should develop more foot conditions than the general population.;

      Diabetes foot problems start appearing when diabetes is not;properly;managed over a;long;period of time.;To simplify things a bit, foot problems arise when one or both of these diabetes complication symptoms happen:;

      1- A decreased sensation in your feet. This is due to a common serious diabetes complication called Diabetic Neuropathy that affects the nerves of the legs and the feet.;

      2- A lack of oxygen delivery to the legs and feet. This is caused by another common diabetes complication called Peripheral Artery Disease.;

      Diabetes Foot Problemsand How To Avoid Them

      When you were;diagnosed with diabetes, youve probably been told you have to take extra care of your feet and get them checked at least once a year.;


      Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of developing and/or aggravating foot problems.;Cases of tiny blisters never healing and leading to not less than amputation do happen. This is a reality we all need to be well aware of.;That being said, its not because you have diabetes that you will necessarily have feet problems.;

      First things first: lets try and understand why people with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems, and which problems were talking about;exactly. Then, well see how a proper foot care routine, and sometimes a specialised diabetic footwear gear can help you stay away from most of these problems.;

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      What Is The Outlook For People With Diabetic Foot

      Diabetic foot ulcers are fairly common in people who have had diabetes for a long time. Even with foot checks and careful blood glucose monitoring, some people with diabetes develop infections.

      The outlook depends on factors such as:


      • How early the wound was found.
      • Presence of infection and how much it spreads.
      • Treatment effectiveness.

      If the infection cant be controlled and spreads too far, amputation may be necessary.

      Wear Shoes And Socks At All Times

      Amputation and Diabetes: How to Protect Your Feet

      Wear shoes and socks at all times. Do not walk barefoot or in just socks even when you are indoors. You could step on something and hurt your feet. You may not feel any pain and may not know that you hurt yourself.

      Check the inside of your shoes before putting them on, to make sure the lining is smooth and free of pebbles or other objects.

      Make sure you wear socks, stockings, or nylons with your shoes to keep from getting blisters and sores. Choose clean, lightly padded socks that fit well. Socks with no seams are best.

      Wear shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Here are some tips for finding the right type of shoes:


      • Walking shoes and athletic shoes are good for daily wear. They support your feet and allow them to breathe.
      • Do not wear vinyl or plastic shoes, because they do not stretch or breathe.
      • When buying shoes, make sure they feel good and have enough room for your toes. Buy shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are the largest, so that you can find the best fit.
      • If you have a bunion, or hammertoes, which are toes that curl under your feet, you may need extra-wide or deep shoes.1 Do not wear shoes with pointed toes or high heels, because they put too much pressure on your toes.
      • If your feet have changed shape, such as from Charcots foot, you may need special shoes or shoe inserts, called orthotics. You also may need inserts if you have bunions, hammertoes, or other foot problems.

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      Go Easy On Your Feet With Low

      People with diabetes benefit from exercise, but what is the best kind? While exercise for diabetes certainly isn’t one-size-fits all, be mindful that many fitness classes and aerobics programs include bouncing, jumping, and leaping, which may not be good for your feet. This is especially true if you have neuropathy. Instead, look into programs, such as walking or swimming, that dont put too much pressure on your feet. Just make sure you have the right shoe for whatever activity you choose.

      What Is Diabetic Neuropathy

      Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called “sensory diabetic neuropathy” increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury.

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      Foot Problems That Might Mean You Have Diabetes

        Did you know there is a connection between your feet and diabetes?;Diabetes is a condition in which the level of glucose in the blood is too high. This is caused by a problem with the hormone insulin and its role in controlling blood glucose levels. Diabetes may lead to higher risk of health complications including developing foot problems.


        Every five minutes an Australian develops diabetes

        The number of people with diabetes in Australia is three times higher today than it was 25 years ago. Every day, 280 Australians develop diabetes. That’s around one person every five minutes. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes and don’t even know it.In the Yarra Ranges, the number of people with diabetes has risen by nearly 180% over the past ten years and each week seven new cases are diagnosed.

        Is diabetes affecting you feet?Having diabetes may increase your risk of developing related complications that include nerve damage or poor circulation in your feet. Nerve damage may affect how you feel pressure or pain and may lead to numbness in your toes or feet. Changes to your circulation may delay your ability to heal any cuts or sores, and may also increase your risk of developing ulcers that could even lead to amputations.

        Seven signs to look out for

        As feet are often the first place to show diabetes-related symptoms, it is important to get your feet checked by a podiatrist. Here are 7 signs and symptoms to look out for include:


        What you can do to look after your feet

        Nerve Problems Due To Diabetes

        Diabetes 22, Feet Problems

        The most common contributor to diabetic foot pain is a nerve problem called Peripheral Neuropathy. This is where the nerves are directly affected by the disease process. There are basically three types of peripheral neuropathy:sensory, motor, and autonomic neuropathy.

        A large percentage of pain diabetic patients complain of is due to sensory neuropathy. This can show up as “sensitive pain,” where the amount of pain is not proportional to the amount of insult that is causing it. For instance, just touching the skin or putting a sheet over your feet in bed could be painful. This can be present at the same time as numbness in the feet. Sensoryneuropathy symptoms can include burning, tingling or a stabbing pain.

        Relief is foremost on someone’s mind when painful neuropathy has raised its ugly head. The first thing to do is to check your blood sugar for the past several weeks to see if there has been a trend toward high blood sugar Persistent high blood sugar can contribute to this type of pain.

        Massaging your feet with a diabetic foot cream, or using a foot roller, often takes the edge off the pain. Vitamin B preparations are often recommended; and there are a variety of prescription medications that do work. Using cushioned, supportive shoes and foot support inserts is always needed to protect the feet from the pounding, rubbing and irritating pressures that contribute to neuropathic pain.

        Keep the muscles working and the joints moving!

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        Tip #: Care For Your Toenails

        Use the following toenail care tips to help prevent ingrown toenails.

        • Once a week, examine your toenails.
        • Trim toenails straight across using a nail clipper.
        • Avoid rounding or trimming down the sides of toenails.
        • Smooth rough nail edges with an emery board after clipping.

        Consult your doctor for the proper way to care for your toenails.

        Quit Smoking To Improve Circulation In Your Feet

        The dangers of smoking run from your head to your feet. The chemicals in cigarette smoke damage and constrict your blood vessels, which means that if you smoke, you’re depriving your feet of the nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood that fights infection and keeps them healthy. Diabetic patients already have risk factors that compromise their blood vessels. Its never too late to stop smoking, says Tillett.

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