In some cases, diabetes leads to serious—even dangerous—issues with your feet. The high blood sugar that characterizes diabetes can cause poor circulation in your lower extremities. And that can lead to two significant problems: peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy.
PAD reduces blood flow to the feet. Meanwhile, peripheral neuropathy limits or eliminates your ability to feel your feet. It’s a bad combination because the poor blood flow makes it more difficult for your feet to heal from injury, while the lack of sensation makes it less likely you will notice a developing or worsening problem.
Let’s take a look at two issues that can arise.
Foot Ulcers and Charcot Foot
If you suffer a wound to the foot, it may develop into a foot ulcer—and as we have noted, the problem may go unnoticed if you are suffering from diabetes. When it comes to foot ulcers, immediate care is essential so that you do not develop a dangerous infection. Infections, of course, are undesirable in any event, but in the case of diabetic foot ulcers, they can lead to the need to amputate your foot.
Charcot foot involves the breakdown of the structures of your feet. High blood sugar can weaken bones while also impairing blood flow and deadening your nerves. Over time, your weakened bones can break down from the simple repetitive act of walking—a possibility made more likely by the facts that your feet aren’t healing properly due to poor circulation and that you can’t feel the problems developing. As with foot ulcers, Charcot foot can lead to amputation in order to stop the spread of infection.
Diagnosed With Diabetes? Come See Us
The doctors of InStride Carolina Podiatry Group have expertise and experience in deal with the complications diabetes can cause in your feet. Vigilance is the key to protecting your feet when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. We can teach you what to look for—and we can treat any problems that develop early on so that they do not grow into much bigger problems. Contact us today to learn about the ways we can help.