5 Symptoms of Diabetes in Feet to Watch Foot
While diabetes can impact any part of your body by changing how you process glucose, you’ll often notice symptoms of diabetes in feet. Now, this disease can take many forms, depending on whether your body struggles to produce insulin or whether it’s unable to use the insulin produced in the pancreas. But, regardless of whether you’re a Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic, are pre-diabetic or merely dealing with gestational diabetes, the disease can throw off your blood sugar levels. And, among other problems, that can be disastrous for your feet.
For that reason, it’s important for all diabetics to include a podiatrist on their diabetic care team. Here at Louetta Foot & Ankle Specialists, our Tomball and Spring TX podiatrists are proud to offer preventative diabetic care. As our patient James P. recently shared, “I have been a patient for more than 10 years and have type I diabetes. Dr. Amy Walsh is very knowledgeable and friendly. She helps with making sure my shoes fit properly and that my feet stay in good shape. The staff are nice and prompt. Thanks for helping me take care of my feet!”
Now, in our practice, we consider diabetic foot care a partnership between our in-office care and at home foot checks. So, in order to keep this disease from damaging your feet, you need to watch for these 5 symptoms. And, if you notice any changes, make sure to schedule an immediate appointment in the office!
5 Symptoms of Diabetes in Feet
Diabetes can affect the way your feet look and feel. Here are five changes to watch for.
When your diabetes isn’t well controlled, elevated sugar levels in your blood can damage your nerves, leaving your feet tingling, numb or with sharp, shooting pain. Ranging from unpleasant to debilitating, neuropathy pain may not be completely reversible. Still, if you come into the office at the first sign of a problem, we can slow progression. In fact, we may even be able to reverse some of the nerve damage using a technique called peripheral nerve decompression.
A diabetic foot ulcer is a deep, open wound that develops on your foot. Left untreated, ulcers can develop infections, which can threaten your limbs and may lead to amputation. Our main goal is to prevent ulcers from becoming one of the symptoms of diabetes in feet. But if you do develop this kind of open wound, you must seek immediate medical attention. We will work with you carefully to close your ulcer and help prevent an infection from leading to amputation.
Increased Instances of Athlete’s Foot
Once you have neuropathy, you’re more susceptible to contagious fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot. Look for symptoms such as red, itchy or cracked skin. You may also notice a foul odor coming from your feet, especially from the skin between the toes.
infections such as ringworm and jock itch and can be treated with antifungal medications.
Fungal Toenail Infections
If diabetes has compromised blood flow in your fingers and toes, you’ll also have a higher risk of fungal infections in your toenails (called onychomycosis.) Symptoms include thick or crumbling nails, which may turn yellow and/or emit a foul smell.
Just as high blood sugar levels can damage your nerves, they can also weaken your foot muscles. In turn, you may notice changes to your foot structure, increasing your risk for conditions such as hammertoes or even claw foot. Controlling your diabetes and making careful shoe choices may help prevent foot deformities. And, for some patients, wearing prescription diabetic shoes can also reduce your risk.
Preventing Symptoms of Diabetes in Feet: When to See Your Spring TX Podiatrrist
The key to preventing diabetes from damaging your feet is to stay on top of your preventative care. Every day, wash and dry your feet, then perform a diabetic foot check—on your own, or with the help of a loved one. Schedule comprehensive, in-office foot exams every three months. But, if you notice problems in between scheduled visits, contact us right away and we’ll bring you in for an immediate appointment.
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