Diabetes is a serious disease that can have many systemic effects on your body and can lead to leg amputations. Many people don’t realize that one of the most common effects is on your feet. For this reason it is important for you to see a podiatrist regularly to prevent any complications.
Types of Diabetes
Type I- unable to produce Insulin
Type II– unable to use the Insulin your body produces
Systemic Effects of Diabetes
- Kidney Failure
- Cataracts, glaucoma, blindness
- Heart disease and stroke
- Neuropathy, including loss of sensation, tingling, numbness, and burning
- Skin changes, including dry feet and dark spots on your shins (Diabetic Dermopathy)
- Poor Circulation
One of the most common complications of Diabetes on your feet is loss of sensation. Once you lose sensation in your feet, you are less sensitive to feeling pressure. At the areas of high pressure, you will begin to get callus build-up. That can lead to an ulcer, or open wound in your foot.
With the constant pounding a wound on your foot is very difficult to heal and will require frequent visits to your podiatrist for wound care. The open wound can also make you more prone to infection. If these are not treated properly, the infection can spread to your bone and even your blood. Once infection spreads to your bone, prompt treatment with 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics will be necessary. For more extensive infections, amputation of your toes, feet, and in extreme cases leg amputations may also be necessary.
For the above reasons, it is important for you to properly control your diabetes with diet, exercises, and medication. You should see your primary care physician on a regular basis to monitor your medications and blood sugar. In order to prevent complications in your feet, you must see your podiatrist regularly for foot checks. Wearing shoes or slippers in the house will help to prevent cuts and avoid stepping on things you may not feel. It is best to have a Podiatrist cut your nails to avoid infections. This is covered by most insurances.
If you have previously been diagnosed with Diabetes, call us today at (845) 298-9074 to schedule your appointment for your Diabetic Foot Exam. Hollowbrook Foot Specialist serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.