The number of people living with diabetes is on the rise in our country, with millions of cases undiagnosed. Because of that, awareness is vital to the prevention and management of this debilitating disease. Diabetes impacts all organs of the body, but the effects on the feet make this disease toe-tally worse!
Consistently high blood sugars circulating throughout the body can cause changes to the skin, nails and blood flow, and can decrease sensation in the feet, causing patients to be more susceptible to diabetic foot ulcers, infections and deformities. Some of the most common foot deformities include bunions, hammertoes, and Charcot Neuroarthropathy. The combination of abnormal foot structure, nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), and a decreased ability to heal due to high blood sugars can cause infected ulcers, which may lead to amputation.
But there is good news – all of the complications mentioned above can be prevented! It starts with properly managing your blood sugar and having a great healthcare team – endocrinologist, primary care physician, and podiatrist. Our top tips that you can start today at home include:
- Inspect your feet daily.
- Never go barefoot.
- Make sure to check your blood sugar regularly.
- Make sure to wear shoe gear that fits appropriately.
- If you notice increased redness, pain or swelling to your feet, call your podiatrist immediately or report to the emergency room.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or have had diabetes for years, it is important that you see a foot & ankle specialist. The physicians at Advanced Foot & Ankle have a passion for treating all aspects of the foot and ankle, and are knowledgeable in the field of diabetes. We can provide a wealth of information on the effects of diabetes on your feet, and how to prevent infection and amputation. Most patients do not seek treatment until an ulcer or infection has already developed. Prevent diabetic foot complications by making an appointment today at one of our 5 Middle Tennessee locations, with our newest office now open in Dickson at Horizon Medical Center!