If you've recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you probably have all sorts of concerns swirling through your mind. You'll have to change your lifestyle and your diet to keep your blood sugar under control so your condition doesn't cause major damage to your body. One thing in particular you'll have to do differently is take good care of your feet. You may not have problems with your feet now, but if your diabetes gets bad enough, you could possibly develop infections severe enough that you need to have a toe amputated. A podiatrist like Advanced Foot Clinic can help keep that from happening. Here's why you should see a podiatrist regularly when you have diabetes.
Diabetes Reduces Blood Flow In Your Feet
One of the complications of diabetes is that it damages your blood vessels. This leads to impaired circulation in your feet and toes. Proper blood flow is needed to provide oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues. When blood flow is reduced, a simple cut or blister could turn into a bad infection. For that reason, you should examine your feet daily when you dress or bathe. If you notice an injury, you should have it examined by a podiatrist so you can receive proper treatment. In addition to treating injuries on your feet to keep them from developing dangerous ulcers and infections, a podiatrist can help you choose proper footwear so your feet are supported properly without putting pressure on any of your toes that restricts blood flow further. If your diabetes gets worse, you may need to wear wider shoes and non-constricting socks so blood can flow more freely through your feet and reduce the risk of irritation that leads to injury and infection.
Diabetes Causes Loss Of Sensation In Your Toes
One of the common symptoms of diabetes is that it causes foot pain due to nerve damage. However, at the same time, the nerve damage also causes numbness in your tissues. The loss of sensation in your toes and feet can be a serious problem because you can develop an injury and not even know it. If you have a cut on one of your toes and don't realize it, you might walk barefoot on it and get it dirty, which increases your risk of infection. Another problem of loss of sensation is that it makes it difficult to trim your own nails. If you cut too deep or try to rip a nail rather than cut it, you can get an ingrown or infected nail and not realize you have a problem until an infection is established. For that reason, you may need to let a podiatrist trim your nails if your diabetes gets to the advanced stage. This eliminates the risk of injury due to loss of feeling in your toes.
Hopefully, you can avoid complications with your feet if you keep your blood sugar levels under control through lifestyle changes and medication. However, since you're on your feet all day, foot injuries are bound to happen sooner or later. What normally would be a simple injury you wouldn't think twice about might be a serious problem when you have diabetes. For that reason, you don't want to take chances with foot problems. See a podiatrist regularly for prevention of infections and quick treatment of problems when they arise.