Diabetes is a disease that affects multiple areas of the body – including the feet. Foot care should be an important part of every diabetic’s plan for preventing complications of high blood sugar. Approximately 70 percent of people with diabetes develop circulatory problems and peripheral nerve damage. Together, these conditions can lead to wounds that do not heal, resulting in infection and in some cases, the need for amputation. In fact, diabetic nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) is a leading cause of foot and leg amputation in the United States.
Did you know…
that approximately 20 million people in the U.S. live with peripheral neuropathy? This condition is identified by nerve damage in the limbs and extremities, which may cause tingling or loss of feeling in the toes and feet. A person with diabetes needs a lifetime of diabetic foot care to identify potential complications and treat them before they result in permanent tissue damage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can benefit from diabetic foot care?
Diabetic foot care is for anyone who has been diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of whether he or she has also been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. According The Diabetes Association, all diabetics need an annual foot exam. Those with peripheral neuropathy or other foot problems should undergo foot exams on a more frequent basis.
What type of diabetic foot care should I expect from my podiatrist?
Your podiatrist will evaluate your foot circulation and sensitivity during each exam. You will also be checked for changes to your skin or any wounds on your feet. If you are experiencing discomfort caused by peripheral neuropathy, your podiatrist may be able to prescribe medication to reduce tingling, burning, or pins-and-needles sensations in your feet.
Can my podiatrist help me prevent diabetic foot complications?
Patient education and prevention are the foundations of our practice. Our team can provide you with helpful tips to reduce the risk of foot complications, such as keeping your feet clean and trimming your toenails straight across. We may also prescribe special shoes to protect your feet from developing sores