Diabetes is a medical condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It can cause numerous health problems, including damage to the feet. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, and they can cause severe damage to the feet if not appropriately managed. The primary issues caused by diabetes are poor circulation, nerve damage (neuropathy), and an increased risk of infections.
We will discuss some of the foot problems caused by diabetes and the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
1) Corns and Calluses
Corns are thick skin patches that form due to friction. People with diabetes are more prone to developing corns and calluses, which can quickly become infected if not treated properly. Common signs of infection are tenderness, redness, and warmth in the affected area.
2) Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)
Diabetes can cause nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy, affecting the feet. Damage to sensory and motor nerves can occur and lead to a loss of feeling or movement in the feet. Signs include numbness, tingling, burning sensation, or abnormal sensations such as pins and needles. You may also experience pain when walking due to nerve damage. Lack of sensation can lead to further damage if minor injuries are undiagnosed and untreated.
3) Poor Circulation
Poor circulation in the feet can be caused by diabetes as blood vessels become narrowed, reducing the amount of oxygen-rich blood reaching your feet. This will impair wound healing, decrease feeling, and make you more prone to infection. Signs of poor circulation can include cold feet, slow-healing wounds, and a feeling of numbness or tingling in the toes.
Bunions are a severe issue for people with diabetes, leading to painful sores and ulcers. Bunions are formed when the joint at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged and forced outward. This puts pressure on the foot and can cause pain, inflammation, and stiffness. If you have diabetes, taking care of your feet and watching for signs of bunions is essential.
When your feet lack the circulation they need due to diabetes, it can lead to a condition called hammertoe. This occurs when one or more of your toes gets stuck in a bent position and cannot straighten out. Hammertoes are usually caused by poorly-fitting shoes that put pressure on the toe joints, but they can also be caused by nerve damage. Symptoms of hammertoe include a bent or crooked toe, an enlarged joint on the end of the toe, and pain with pressure.
6) Fungal Infections
People with diabetes are more prone to fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. Fungal infections can cause cracking, peeling, and burning between the toes and the bottom of the feet. Diabetes will also make it harder to treat fungal infections because it can weaken the body’s immune system. High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage in the feet, leading to several complications. Contact the Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia for the best foot doctor in Marietta. We specialize in treating foot and ankle problems related to diabetes. Our experienced staff can help you find solutions for your foot and ankle issues.