Unfortunately for us diabetics one of the major complications of having the disease can be problems in the feet. You really need to take care of your feet to avoid diabetes feet problems down the track.
It is highly recommended that you have annual visits to a podiatrist for check-ups, especially if you have had previous diabetic feet problems.
All humans have small blood vessels in our feet and in our eyes. High blood sugar levels can impact the blood supply to these smaller blood vessels in the feet and cause diabetes feet problems. Many diabetics have Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) which can in worst case scenarios, lead to amputations. You should check your feet daily for anything unusual or any unexplained changes.
Dangerous diabetic feet symptoms include
- Any numbness or pins and needles in the feet and legs
- Coldness or burning pains in the feet and legs (especially at night)
Also watch for
- Unexplained cuts or abrasions
- Pain in the feet
- Calluses/ corns
- Ingrown nails or nails changing colour
- Anything else unusual
An easy test
To ensure that you have no nerve damage in the feet get someone to give you the feather test. This is where you look away and they touch your feet gently with a feather or other soft object. You call out when you can feel the feather’s touch. This can act as an early warning if you lose sensations in your feet.It is a test I do many times a year.
- Moisturise your feet daily
- Don’t wear tight socks or stockings
- Wear proper fitting shoes
- Increase your exercise levels
- Quit smoking – duh. Smoking hardens arteries and affects the small blood vessels in your body, which spells bad news for your feet. Many diabetics who need amputations are smokers!
Keep an eye on your feet and monitor your blood sugar levels closely. Diabetes feet problems will be kept to a minimum if you live a healthy, active life. Let me know how you are coping below.