A common side effect of having diabetes is developing foot problems. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. This is caused from too much sugar in the blood, which can lead to nerve damage and poor blood flow.
Nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet. The damaged nerves cannot send messages to your foot muscles about movement. Your foot muscles become weak and imbalanced. The bones of your feet and toes may shift.
Symptoms of nerve damage may include numbness, tingling or pain in the toes and feet. You may also be unable to experience hot or cold in your feet, nor would you be able to feel any pain or blisters on your feet.
Poor Blood Flow
Poor blood flow means not enough blood flows to your legs and feet through your blood vessels. You will have to monitor any foot sores or blisters for infection. Poor blood flow would make it difficult for sores to heal properly. You would also have to monitor to ensure the sore does not cause gangrene.
Prompt attention to any sore or infection on your toe or foot can prevent gangrene. Your doctor may decide to cut away the infected tissue or give you antibiotics. Your doctor also may perform tests to see how well blood is reaching your legs and feet.
Quick Tips for Healthy Feet
· Get your feet checked at least once a year by a medical professional.
· Do not worry about the look of your feet. Make sure you show the doctor your feet without shoes or socks.
· Stay educated. Ask questions about signs you should be looking for on your feet to self-monitor. Ask if you are at risk for developing any problems.
· If you are deemed high risk to develop food problems, ask to be referred to a podiatrist.
· Stay self-aware of any foot pain, numbness, redness, or skin discolouring.
· If you cannot monitor your feet, have a family member perform daily checks.
· Maintain healthy toenails.
· Do not remove sores, blisters, corns or calluses yourself. Ask a professional.
· Moisturize your feet every day, and wear comfortable shoes that offer support.
· Avoid footwear that can impede circulation such as socks, stockings or garters with elastics.
· Always examine the inside of your shoes for sharp objects or stones before putting them on and replace ruffled innersole linings. Avoid socks, stockings or tights with wrinkles or prominent seams.