Why diabetes causes foot problems

Credit: Unsplash+.

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can lead to a variety of health issues, including serious foot problems.

Many people with diabetes will experience complications with their feet, but the reasons why might not be widely understood.

This article breaks down why diabetes can lead to foot problems, using research evidence and plain language to make it clear and accessible.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand what diabetes does to the body. Diabetes primarily affects the body’s ability to use glucose (sugar) effectively.

This can lead to high levels of glucose in the blood, which, over time, can cause widespread damage to blood vessels and nerves. This damage is particularly impactful in the feet for a few key reasons.

One major issue is poor circulation. High blood sugar levels can cause blood vessels to narrow and harden, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

When this happens, it becomes difficult for blood to flow efficiently, especially to areas like the feet, which are farthest from the heart. With reduced blood flow, any injuries or infections in the feet heal slower and can more easily become severe problems.

Nerve damage, or neuropathy, is another significant complication of diabetes that affects the feet. High glucose levels can damage the nerves, reducing sensation in the feet. This means that cuts, sores, or blisters may go unnoticed because they simply don’t hurt.

Without the usual pain signals to alert someone to a foot problem, minor injuries can be neglected until they develop into serious infections or ulcers.

Infections are a particular concern in people with diabetes because high sugar levels can also impair the immune system, making it harder to fight off bacteria. Once an infection starts, poor circulation means that fewer immune cells can reach the site to control the infection.

This can lead to a vicious cycle where minor issues quickly escalate into major complications.

Foot deformities and skin changes are also more common in individuals with diabetes. As nerve damage progresses, the muscles in the foot may not work properly, leading to misalignment and pressure points that aren’t felt.

This can cause calluses, corns, and ulcers. Additionally, the skin on diabetic feet can become dry and crack easily due to the nerves that control moisture and oil production being damaged.

All these factors contribute to why foot care is a critical aspect of managing diabetes. Preventative measures, such as regular foot examinations by healthcare professionals and daily self-inspections, play a crucial role in reducing the risk of severe foot complications.

People with diabetes are advised to wear appropriate footwear that protects the feet and reduces the risk of injury.

Educational programs emphasizing the importance of foot care have shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of foot ulcers and amputations among people with diabetes.

Maintaining good control of blood glucose levels, regular podiatry check-ups, and promptly addressing any foot injuries, no matter how minor they seem, are essential strategies for preventing foot complications related to diabetes.

In conclusion, the foot problems associated with diabetes are a significant concern but are largely preventable with the right knowledge and care.

Understanding the link between diabetes and foot health allows individuals and caregivers to take proactive steps in preventing complications that can severely impact quality of life.

By managing diabetes effectively and paying close attention to foot health, many of the serious foot problems can be avoided, ensuring better health outcomes for those affected by this chronic condition.

If you care about blood sugar, please read studies about why blood sugar is high in the morning, and how to cook sweet potatoes without increasing blood sugar.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about 9 unhealthy habits that damage your brain, and results showing this stuff in cannabis may protect aging brain, treat Alzheimer’s.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.