FAMILY PODIATRY of MARYLAND
Diabetes and your feet
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Diabetes is a serious disease that can develop from lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body's insulin to perform its normal everyday functions. Diabetes causes your blood sugar levels to be higher than normal. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves in your body. Damage to your nerves means that you may have burning pain or lose feeling in a part of your body (this is called diabetic neuropathy). Damage to the blood vessels in your feet means that your feet may not be getting a good supply of blood. Of the sixteen million americans with diabetes, 25% will develop foot problems related to the disease.

Diabetic foot conditions develop from a combination of causes including poor circulation and neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat, and cold. Diabetics who suffer from neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters, or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes, and Charcot Feet.

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet, even a small cut could have serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. The loss of feeling in your feet makes it hard for you to tell if you have a blister or sore. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. If little sores aren't taken care of, they can get worse and turn into ulcers. If these ulcers become infected, you may have to go to the hospital or, in very serious cases, have a foot amputated.


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