Diabetes is a disorder that affects how the body metabolizes blood sugar to produce energy. The condition is notorious for its far-reaching effects on various parts of the body, including the tissues in the feet. Diabetes causes gradual changes in your bodily functions that, without timely intervention, can lead to irreversible complications.
If you’re living with diabetes, you have to rely on your own vigilance and awareness to detect any problems before they worsen. This involves knowing the effects of diabetes on your foot health and getting a better idea of which symptoms to look out for and of the importance of promptly addressing them.
Diabetes causes excessive amounts of glucose (blood sugar) to accumulate in your bloodstream. Excess glucose impacts the health of your veins and eventually compromises their ability to transport enough blood. Peripheral tissues, such as those in your hands and feet, are particularly susceptible to blood circulation problems.
Poor blood circulation causes waste products to accumulate in the tissues of your feet. This can also cause insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrient to nourish your cells.
Because of poor circulation, foot injuries may take longer to heal, with wounds sometimes becoming chronic and failing to resolve on their own. Problems with blood circulation lead to disturbances in your metabolism, ultimately wreaking havoc on the health of your tissues.
Having dry skin is a common complaint among people living with diabetes. As your blood sugar levels go up, your body needs to utilize more water to eliminate the sugar, thereby causing frequent urination. Such affects your skin’s moisture level that then leads to skin problems.
Diabetes is also a known culprit in excessive sweating, which can also deprive your skin of its moisture, causing it to peel, crack, and form wounds that allow bacteria to invade.
Moreover, uncontrolled blood sugar and triglyceride levels (refers to the levels of the type of fat found in your blood) can cause eruptive xanthomatosis. This is a condition characterized by small, yellow bumps that appear on your feet, hands, and other areas on your extremities.
Diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage that is common among people with uncontrolled diabetes. The condition is characterized by the inability to feel pain or temperature.
Nerve damage can make your feet more prone to injury, with cuts and ulcers becoming more difficult to detect. Without active intervention, these wounds become significant sites for infection.
Problems in blood circulation makes it difficult for the immune system to eliminate bacteria, which produce toxins and further cut off blood supply, causing irreversible damage to the tissues in your foot. When untreated, this leads to gangrene, a condition that causes tissue death.
Diabetic Foot Care in South Texas
As established, most diabetes-related foot problems, such as foot infections, occur from compromised blood circulation. Without sufficient blood supply, the feet may suffer from various skin conditions and significant nerve damage. Fortunately, the proper control of blood sugar levels can dramatically reduce the risk of foot complications. Regular access to diabetic foot care is another important step toward effectively detecting and preventing complications.
At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, we provide comprehensive diabetic foot care to prevent complications that may lead to amputation. Our specialists form collaborative relationships with our patients to ensure personalized treatments for diabetic foot conditions and other foot and ankle problems.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group of South Texas, call us at any one of our 14 locations or use this appointment request form. We look forward to helping you keep your feet healthy!