The CDC estimates that more than 35 million Americans have diabetes. About one in five people may have the condition without knowing. Diabetes is a condition that causes too much sugar to be available in your bloodstream. One of the main disadvantages of the health problem is that it puts you at more risk of developing foot problems. Thus, when you have diabetes, you should closely monitor the condition of your feet. If you notice a sore or unusual change, you should seek treatment immediately at Yonkers Vascular Center. Some common signs and symptoms of a severe foot problem include blisters, cuts, foul smells, numbness, inflammation, loss of sensations, and burning pain.
If you do not seek treatment immediately for a foot problem due to diabetes, you become at higher risk of various complications and lower limb amputation. Consequently, below are common foot problems that may arise because of diabetes.
Diabetic nerve damage
The nerves running across your feet are essential for providing sensations and control of muscle movements. However, the presence of high levels of glucose in your blood gradually destroys the nerves in the feet, causing a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy reduces your ability to feel pain, cold, and heat. Loss of sensations and feeling makes it harder to notice if you have a foot injury or blisters. For instance, a small pebble may get into your shoe, and your feet may step on it as you walk without noticing, which may cause sores or blisters.
You may not notice foot damage until it worsens and has a severe infection. Destruction of nerves in your feet may cause a change in the shape of your toes and feet.
Skin hardening and thickening
If you have type 2 diabetes, there is a higher possibility of having thick, waxy, tight, and stiff skin on your hands, fingers, and toes. That may happen because the damage to nerves and blood vessels reduces the flow and circulation of blood to the skin.
Without essential nutrients for boosting collagen production, the skin texture and appearance become affected.
Since your body cannot ensure the skin has sufficient levels of oil and moisture, you must wash, dry, and moisturize your feet regularly. Avoid applying oils or creams between your toes so that you do not encourage infections.
Poor blood circulation
Blood vessels supply your feet and the rest of your body with oxygen-rich blood. The oxygenated blood comes with many nutrients that tissues need to remain healthy and working.
Diabetes causes damage to nerves and blood vessels. For instance, diabetes may cause fatty deposits in blood vessels, making their walls thicker and stiffer. Therefore, blood vessels become less efficient in transporting nutrients like oxygen to and from tissues, especially in your feet. The blood vessels behind your knee and calf are often the most affected, causing pain when you walk uphill or fast.
Blood vessels that have circulation problems are usually painful and swollen.
Muscle and joint problems
Muscles and joints, particularly your feet, are often affected by high blood sugar causing nerve damage and poor blood circulation. As a result, you may experience imbalance, pain, discomfort, and infections.
Contact Premier Vascular today for specialist diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot problems.