If you have diabetes, you must monitor your blood sugar, prepare nutritious meals, make time to be physically active, take medications, and attend doctor’s appointments. Your feet may be the last thing on your mind at this point. Yet, regular care is one of the most effective strategies to avoid adverse diabetic foot changes.
Almost fifty percent of persons with diabetes suffer nerve damage. Nerve injury can affect any region of the body, although the feet and legs are most commonly afflicted. Nerve injury can result in a loss of sensation in the feet.
Some individuals with nerve injury experience numbness, tingling, or pain, while others do not. Damage to a nerve can also diminish your sensitivity to pain, heat, and cold.
Life without pain may seem appealing, but it is expensive. Pain is the body’s method of alerting you to a problem so that you can take care of it. If you do not experience discomfort in your feet, you may overlook a cut, blister, sore, or other issues. Minor issues might escalate if they are not addressed immediately.
What is the most crucial thing you can do to prevent or halt nerve damage from worsening? Maintain your blood sugar within the prescribed range as much as possible. Other beneficial diabetes control practices include:
- Don’t smoke. Tobacco use decreases blood flow to the feet.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and salt.
- 10 to 20 minutes of physical activity every day is preferable to an hour once per week.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on medication use.
Everybody with diabetes is susceptible to nerve injury. However, the following variables enhance the likelihood:
- Blood sugar levels that are difficult to control
- Having diabetes for a very long time, mainly if your blood sugar is frequently beyond your goal level, can be fatal.
- Being overweight
- Being older than forty
- Having an elevated blood pressure
- Having a high cholesterol level
Nerve damage and poor blood flow, another effect of diabetes, put you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that may get infected and fail to heal. If an infection does not respond to therapy, it may be necessary to amputate your toe, foot, or part of your leg to prevent the illness from spreading and save your life.
When you inspect your feet on a daily basis, you can detect issues early and get them addressed. Early treatment decreases the chance of amputation significantly.
If you encounter any of these symptoms, make an appointment immediately. See your usual physician or a foot doctor immediately:
- Pain in your legs or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves from physical activities.
- Feet that are tingling, burning, or painful.
- A diminished sense of touch or inability to feel heat or cold.
- A gradual alteration in the form of your feet.
- Hair loss on the toes, foot, and lower legs.
- Cracked, dry skin on your feet.
- A change in your feet’s colour and warmth.
- Yellow, thickened toenails.
- Between the toes, fungus infections such as athlete’s foot.
- A blister, sore, ulcer, corn infected with bacteria, or ingrown toenail.
The majority of people with diabetes may avoid significant foot issues. Home maintenance and attending all doctor’s appointments are your best bet for preventing foot troubles (and stopping minor problems from becoming serious ones).