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Diabetes and Your Feet

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

According to the CDC, over 100 million Americans currently have diabetes or pre-diabetes. The most common (and dangerous) type of diabetes, Type 2, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin. Or, when your pancreas can’t produce enough of it.

The body needs a certain amount of insulin to function properly. Insulin allows the cells within your body to absorb glucose, which provides energy. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose can’t move freely around these cells, causing high glucose levels within the body that can eventually lead to diabetes.


Common Signs of Diabetes

Diabetes affects people differently. Not everyone has the same signs. But, some of the most common symptoms include:

· Frequent urination

· Constant thirst

· Weight loss

· Blurry vision

· Fatigue

· Very dry skin

· Sores that heal slowly

Another common sign of diabetes is the feeling of numbness in your hands or feet. If you’ve been a diabetic for a while, you have probably already heard about the importance of taking care of your feet. But do you know why?

That numbness/tingling sensation in your feet isn’t just annoying. It can create major issues, and some people can develop serious foot problems or may even have to lose a toe or a foot.

This shouldn’t scare you. Instead, it should let you know how important it is to consistently monitor your feet, and how important it is to take proper care of them.


How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

One of the risks of diabetes is nerve damage. As stated above, that damage is often most notable in the hands and feet. This is a condition known as diabetic Neuropathy This condition can cause you to lose feeling in your feet, which makes it easier to get injured. For example, if you happen to get a cut or scrape on your foot, you may not feel it, so you won’t pay attention to it. As a result, it can become easily infected and lead to even bigger problems.

Your risk of infection is often greater if you have diabetes because it can slow down blood flow to your feet. So, not only is it easier for a sore to get infected, but it’s often harder to treat. An infection that doesn’t heal can lead to gangrene, which is often when a toe or the foot itself needs to be amputated.


How to Check Your Feet Each Day

One of the easiest ways to prevent foot issues when you have diabetes is to check the condition of your feet every day. While even just giving them a quick glance-over is better than nothing, it’s easier if you know what to look for. Pay close attention to things like:

· Red spots

· Sores

· Cuts/scrapes

· Swelling

· Blisters

· Ingrown toenails

· Calluses

· Warm spots



Check Your Shoes Daily

Another important daily check is to check inside and the sole of your shoes for any foreign materials inside the shoe as well as any signs of a puncture of the sole. With the potential for the loss of sensation, it is important to check your shoes prior to putting them on to prevent injury.


If you have any questions about how Diabetes can affect your feet please feel free to give us a call anytime!


Call Dr. Johnston today to schedule a complete diabetic foot exam and diabetic foot care consultation!


(419) 474-7700





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