How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?

Diabetes is one of the largest global health issues of the 21st century, and is increasing rapidly to affect an additional 5% of the United States population each year. Diabetes impacts your overall health and wellness in a variety of ways, and diabetic foot problems are something you shouldn’t ignore. Diabetic neuropathy is a common foot complication associated with chronic diabetes and affects 50% of all people who suffer from this condition. 

With more than 25 years as an expert podiatrist specializing in complex foot problems, Dr. Peter J. Bregman of Bregman Foot-Ankle & Nerve Center, offers patients in Las Vegas and the surrounding communities top-notch care for diabetic foot conditions. Understanding how seriously diabetes can affect your feet is essential, so you know when to seek treatment. 

Here’s an overview of how diabetes can affect your feet and how we can help you improve your foot health. 

How does diabetes affect your feet?

If you have diabetes, it means your body has difficulty regulating glucose (sugar) levels in your bloodstream as a result of problems with the hormone insulin. The reason you can’t effectively regulate glucose levels is either because your body doesn’t produce enough insulin on its own, or because you’ve become insulin-resistant. 

When glucose levels build up to dangerously high levels in your blood, it causes damage to your blood vessels. Damaged blood vessels mean that your body has a more difficult time getting oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to where it needs to go — especially to your feet, where blood has to fight both distance and gravity to circulate properly.

Neuropathy is a common diabetic foot problem

Neuropathy (nerve damage) is the most common diabetic foot problem. Also known as peripheral or diabetic neuropathy, this condition develops from high levels of blood sugar and fats (triglycerides) in your blood. Left untreated, the effects of neuropathy can irreparably damage your nerves. 

Since, as we noted, diabetic neuropathy affects about 50% of people with diabetes, this is a very real health concern that you shouldn’t ignore. Getting expert care for your feet can make a big difference. 

In addition to diabetic neuropathy, other common foot problems that tend to affect those with diabetes more frequently because of the nerve damage, include:

Even if these conditions don’t directly stem from diabetes, you should still seek expert treatment to help preserve your foot health.

Treatment for diabetic foot conditions

The most important thing you can do to protect your foot health is to be aware of the potential dangers. At our office, Dr. Bregman identifies and promptly addresses any problems you’re having at the earliest signs of trouble. There are many preventive measures you can take at home, but you should also contact us for help anytime you experience the following symptoms:

One of the best things you can do for your feet when you have diabetes is to keep up with regular appointments at Bregman Foot-Ankle & Nerve Center. We monitor your feet for signs of potential problems and provide treatment before the condition progresses. The earlier we intervene, the better we can prevent severe and life-changing outcomes, like gangrene or amputation.

What you can do to prevent diabetic foot problems

One of the best ways to offset your risk for diabetic foot problems is to take preventive action. Follow these guidelines to help keep your feet as healthy as possible:

And, the more you can do to regulate your blood sugar levels and manage your diabetes, the more your feet will benefit, as well.

Take the first step toward better foot health, especially if you’re one of the millions of Americans with diabetes. Call our helpful office staff today at 702-703-2526, or use the convenient online scheduler to request an appointment. 

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