Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes blood sugar (or glucose) to rise to unhealthy levels. Without proper management and control, elevated glucose levels can cause problems with circulation as well as nerve damage in the feet and ankles, resulting in diminished sensations, numbness and sharp pains. Decreased sensations make it more difficult to tell when an injury like a cut or ingrown toenail has occurred, enabling these conditions to progress and cause serious infections, and it can also increase the risk of falling. Circulatory problems result in poor healing responses, which increases the risk of infection as well as the risk of amputation of a toe or the entire foot.
People with diabetes often experience symptoms like:
These symptoms are usually more pronounced in people who have had the disease for a long period of time, as well as those whose blood sugar levels are poorly controlled.
Diabetic foot care involves an ongoing evaluation of the feet and ankles to look for signs of developing problems, as well as treatments aimed at preventing diabetes-related problems from occurring. Proper nail trimming, care for corns and calluses, and guidance for at-home strategies of care are all part of a diabetic foot care treatment program. To avoid serious foot and ankle issues and to decrease the risk of infection and amputation, people with diabetes should have a foot examination at least once each year, and call the office right away if any symptoms of foot problems develop.
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