A person with diabetes is more likely to have foot problems. Diabetes is known to cause nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, which causes tingling, pain, and may cause loss of sensation. The loss of feeling in your feet can lead to cuts and sores. A blister on your foot can lead to infection. Diabetes can also inhibit the flow of blood to your feet. It can be hard for a sore or infection to heal if there is not enough blood flow to the legs and feet. Sometimes a bad infection will not heal, leading to gangrene.
Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not improve can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or leg.
Charcot's foot is a rare condition, which begins with redness, warmth, and swelling. Nerve damage from diabetes is another possibility that can lead to foot changes. Over time, your feet and toes may shift or break, leading to an odd shape, such as having a "rocker bottom."
You can decrease your risk of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Taking good care of your feet will prevent serious infections and amputations. It's also important to manage your blood sugar, so that your feet stay healthy.
Here's what we can do to keep our feet healthy:
🦶Make sure you check your feet every day
🦶Keep your feet clean by washing them every day
🦶Gently smooth corns and calluses
🦶Toenails should be trimmed straight across
🦶Always wear shoes and socks
🦶Make sure your feet are protected from cold and heat
🦶Ensure that your feet are getting blood flow
🦶Every health care visit should include a foot examination
Call your health care provider right away if you have the following assignments:
⚠️ A cut, blister, or bruise on your foot that doesn't heal after a few days
⚠️ A foot that has a red or warm color or that is painful can indicate an infection
⚠️ A callus containing dried blood, which can be an indication of a wound under the callus
⚠️ An infection that turns black and smells -- a sign of gangrene
If needed, ask your provider for a referral to a foot doctor or podiatrist.
Source: NIDDK's Health Information Center
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