Diabetes can often result in damage to the nerves to the feet from elevated sugars. These sugars form an alcohol that ruins the insulation around the nerve. When this happens it can result in painful neuropathy in which the patient experiences shooting, stabbing, knifing pain or eventually may feel nothing at all.
This can be especially dangerous as the foot may not feel potential dangers resulting in injury to the foot that can accelerate amputation. These dangers may include a new shoe that is too tight, water that is too hot, or something sharp that has been stepped on or gone through the bottom of a shoe.
Because the nerves may not feel potential dangers our doctors recommend:
Daily Foot Inspections
Looking between your toes for redness, cracks and breaks in the skin and along the bottom of your feet
Daily Shoe Inspections
Inspecting the soles of your shoes to make sure nothing has penetrated the shoe. We also recommend tilting your shoe upward and inspecting the insides of the shoe for items that may be inside your shoe
Seek help immediately and call your podiatrist if you notice any redness, swelling, drainage or something that you did not notice on prior daily inspection.
Avoid self-treatment as this may just make matters worse and place you more at risk for amputation.
Remember to get your annual foot exam by your podiatrist. During this exam your feet will be checked for neuropathy and vascular disease two conditions that are common causes of amputations. During this exam your podiatrist will be able to identify, treat, educate and prevent any other potential foot complications by evaluating structure and skin for foot health.
Amputations and foot complications can be avoided with these simple tips. Many people are unaware that 50% of all people that lose a leg lose the other leg within 5 years. The other 50% die within 5 years because the body can not handle the stress of working on only one leg.
Make a difference and help those with diabetes get their annual exam today. For more tips on how to save a limb see our video-“Less Than 60 Seconds to Save a Limb”.