Having diabetes increases the risk of developing a wide range of foot problems, often because of two complications of the disease: nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation.
For those with diabetes, small foot problems can turn into serious complications, including:
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to other conditions, such as:
This condition usually develops slowly and worsens over time. Some patients have this condition long before they are diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes for several years may increase the likelihood of having diabetic neuropathy.
This condition causes the bones of the foot to become weakened enough to fracture. With continued walking the foot eventually changes shape. As the disorder progresses, the joints collapse and the foot takes on an abnormal shape, such as a rocker-bottom appearance.
Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet – even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection. Because of these problems, you may not notice a foreign object in your shoe. As a result you could develop a blister or a sore. This could lead to an infection or a non-healing wound that could put you at risk for an amputation.
To avoid serious foot problems that could result in losing a toe, foot, or leg, follow these guidelines:
This information is copyrighted by The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
More about diabetes and foot care here: www.apma.org/diabetes