Living With Diabetes: Keep Your Feet Healthy

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By Brianna Siciliano

If you have diabetes, it’s important to take care of your feet and the rest of your body. Checking your feet daily for serious issues, such as neuropathy can prevent serious problems.  People with diabetes can develop serious problems with their feet that can affect how easily they can walk, and even lead to amputation. Many of these serious problems can be prevented by taking good care of your feet and your health.

Research shows that diabetes often causes problems with feet and legs.  Diabetic foot pain can be severe. Amputations due to foot neuropathy in people with diabetes account for more than 60% of the amputations of legs and feet not resulting from an injury, such as from a car crash. People with diabetes were eight times as likely to lose a leg or foot to amputation as people without diabetes, according to CDC research.

These are some of the ways that diabetes can harm your feet, and create diabetic foot pain:

  • Diabetes reduces blood flow to certain areas of the body, especially the legs and feet, which makes it harder for your body to heal injuries.
  • Diabetic nerve pain and continued damage may cause you to no longer feel pain in your feet, and you may not realize you have a wound or injury that needs treatment.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider or a diabetic podiatrist (foot doctor) right away.

  • You may feel pain in your legs or cramping in your buttocks, thighs, or calves during physical activity.
  • Your feet may tingle, burn, or hurt.
  • You may lose the sense of touch or not be able to feel heat or cold very well.
  • The shape of your feet may change over time.
  • The color and temperature of your feet may change.
  • You may lose hair on your toes, feet, and lower legs.
  • The skin on your feet may become dry and cracked.
  • Your toenails may turn thick and yellow.
  • Fungus infections such as athlete’s foot may appear between your toes.
  • You may have blisters, sores, ulcers, infected corns and ingrown toenails.

If you have diabetes or you are experiencing foot neuropathy, it is best to see a diabetic podiatrist who can monitor and manage the disease so you can stay healthy.