Diabetes and foot problems often go hand-in-hand. The American Diabetes Association
even estimates that 50 percent of people with diabetes experience some type of foot concern. What’s the cause behind this common complication? The answer is diabetic neuropathy.
According to Mayo Clinic, neuropathy
affects a person’s nerves. The condition typically causes pain or weakness in the body’s extremities. The symptoms of neuropathy can range from mild numbness to pain in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes. People with diabetes are often more susceptible to neuropathy because prolonged high blood sugar can cause damage to nerve fibers throughout the body, especially those in a person’s legs and feet.
Neuropathy is often a concern for people with diabetes, because the condition makes it difficult for people to feel pain in their feet. This means you could suffer a leg or foot injury without knowing about it. The American Diabetes Association also says neuropathy can prevent the nerves that control oil and moisture in your foot from working properly. As a result, people with diabetic neuropathy may notice the skin on their feet becoming especially dry or cracked.
The easiest way to prevent or delay diabetic neuropathy is keeping your blood sugar in check. Mayo Clinic recommends talking to your doctor to find a healthy blood glucose range that is best for you and your body. People with diabetes can also put a stop to foot problems by scheduling a foot exam with their doctor at least once a year. To protect the health of your feet at home, The American Diabetes Association suggests checking your feet each day for blisters, bruises, cuts, and swelling. To prevent injury, make sure to wear clean, dry socks and well-cushioned shoes that fit your feet well. Remember to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Photo credit: Dave Dugdale