What is Diabetes?

Simply, diabetes occurs when there is a great increase in the blood sugar level due to lack of insulin. Insulin is responsible for the breakdown of glucose in our body, and with the lack of insulin glucose remains in the blood stream. When glucose remains in the blood for a long period it results in health complications harming your feet. There are two main causes behind that.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Leaving diabetes untreated and unmanaged can lead to nerve damage. This nerve damage is caused by long-term high blood sugar levels. The symptoms may vary according to the type of Neuropathy present, but damaged nerves may harm your feet. For example, you can lose any sensation such as pain from cuts or temperature changes and that is called “sensory neuropathy”. Due to the lack of sensation, small cuts that can be easily treated might be a serious issue going unnoticed and getting infected.

Another complication is the “motor neuropathy”, it occurs when the motor nerves that control the muscle movement are also damage, and so the feet muscles stop working properly and pressure in one area of the foot can occur.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular disease is a blood circulation disorder that causes the blood vessels outside of your heart and brain to narrow, block, or spasm and therefore causing a circulation disorder. Due to lack of blood flow the process of healing takes longer, and so if there is an infection present it will not heal properly due to the lack of blood flow which can cause damage.

 For example gangrene, which refers to the death of body tissue due to either a lack of blood flow or a serious bacterial infection, is considered a medical emergency, as it can lead to needing to amputate the foot due to high amounts of dead tissue. In general, peripheral vascular diseases can cause irreversible damage.

Diabetics are more at risk to infections, meaning minor foot complications can become more severe. For example, athlete’s foot, blisters, bunions, corns, and plantar warts can become more of a threat to your feet.

If you are a diabetic, consult your doctor and discuss preventative methods to keep your feet healthy. If you have concerns and are experiencing issues with your feet, see your doctor right away before the damage becomes irreversible.

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