High blood sugar impacts all the organs and tissues in your body, including your feet. Each day, 230 Americans suffering from diabetes undergo an amputation due to uncontrolled diabetes, and many experts predict that these numbers will increase due to a rise in diabetes.
Although diabetes care can be overwhelming, taking steps such as counting carbohydrates and working with a physician to keep your blood sugar levels within a good range is worth the effort. By monitoring your blood sugar levels and seeking early intervention, you can significantly reduce your risk of amputation.
At Optima Foot and Ankle, our podiatrist, Dr. Laura Schweger, has extensive experience in both preventing and treating diabetic foot issues. Here’s a look at how diabetes impacts the health of your feet and why you need to take extra care of your feet when you have diabetes.
How diabetes impacts your feet
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’ve probably been told about what complications you can develop and how the glycemic index of the foods you eat have an immediate effect on your blood sugar levels.
Slow-healing wounds, which are prone to infection and can increase your risk for amputations, are one of the most common complications of diabetes. Even a small cut on your feet can get infected.
These wounds are more likely to appear on your feet because many people with diabetes can’t sense foot pain due to nerve damage, or neuropathy.
Neuropathy can occur as a result of elevated blood sugar. Although it usually appears in the feet first, it can also move up into the hands and arms.
Diabetes also impacts blood circulation, making it more difficult for wounded areas to receive the nutrients and growth factors they need to speed up healing.
Keeping an eye on the health of your feet
To prevent diabetes complications, inspect your feet on a daily basis. Look for changes in the skin, signs of fungal infections, and small cuts.
Dr. Schweger believes that regulation of blood sugar levels and regular visits to a podiatrist are key in treating foot issues before they become problematic.
If you notice a foot ulcer developing and becoming infected, seek medical attention as soon as possible. At this stage, Dr. Schweger can treat your ulcer by eliminating the bacteria on your foot and wrapping your foot to allow the area to heal and prevent more bacteria from touching the site.
Prevent and treat diabetic foot complications in Bend, Oregon
If you’d like to learn more about how you can prevent diabetic foot complications and how Optima Foot and Ankle treats diabetic wounds, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our specialist can answer all of your questions regarding diabetic wound care and assess the current health state of your feet.