Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects more than 30 million Americans today. If you have diabetes, it means there’s too much glucose, or sugar, in your blood and your body can’t process it effectively.
High blood sugar and diabetes contribute to a number of health complications, from cardiovascular disease and obesity to nerve damage throughout the body. For people with diabetes, nerve damage can develop slowly, as high blood sugar gradually damages the tiny blood vessels connecting nerves.
Nerve damage in feet is common if you’re one of the many people in Tennessee with diabetes. Poor blood flow, combined with nerve damage, can make you lose feeling in your feet. You may not notice wounds like cuts or blisters when they happen, and they can become infected or heal very slowly.
Taking steps to keep your feet healthy when you have diabetes is extremely important for your overall well-being. If you have diabetes, find a podiatrist — a doctor who specializes in foot care — to help you prevent diabetic foot complications.
With offices in Murfreesboro, Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, and Lebanon, Tennessee, the podiatrists at IDEASTEP Foot and Ankle are here to help. Our foot and ankle experts have dedicated training in diabetic foot care. Call us today or request an appointment online to learn more.
Understanding common diabetic foot problems
One of the most common complications of diabetes is nerve damage. While nerve damage can develop anywhere in your body, it often appears in your feet. When the nerves in your feet suffer damage, you may experience reduced blood flow and feeling. This increases your risk of getting cuts or sores without feeling pain.
If you don’t notice cuts or wounds, you can’t care for them properly. Foot wounds that go untreated can develop into diabetic foot ulcers, abscesses, or infections like cellulitis and osteomyelitis.
Poor blood flow to your feet means the tissue may not get enough oxygen to heal from wounds quickly. If you do suffer a wound, it may heal very slowly or not at all. Slow-healing wounds put you at risk for gangrene and other serious complications.
Some people with diabetes suffer Charcot foot, which is the weakening of foot bones caused by significant nerve damage in the feet. Over time, this condition can cause fractures and make your foot change shape.
Without regular care and medical evaluations, your feet can suffer significant damage that may lead to amputation of your toes or your foot to prevent further complications.
How our podiatrists help you stay well
When you have diabetes, closely monitoring your feet is the best way to catch complications before they become severe. Every doctor on your medical care team should check your feet at your doctor’s appointments.
The podiatrists at IDEASTEP Foot and Ankle offer annual comprehensive foot exams to help identify any potential issues early on, as well as acute care for wounds and other issues. Having a podiatrist on your diabetes wellness team ensures your feet stay as healthy as possible.
Our doctors are highly trained in identifying and treating common diabetic foot issues. With regular evaluations, we can help you effectively treat wounds, blisters, corns, calluses, and more. Prompt treatment for foot wounds helps speed healing and prevent infection.
We also give every patient tips on how to keep feet healthy at home. It’s important to wash your feet every day and check them for cuts or sores. Always wearing shoes and socks and making sure your feet don’t get too cold or too hot can help prevent damage as well.
Depending on your unique condition, our doctors can recommend exercises to strengthen your feet and improve circulation. Specific types of shoes, socks, and soap for washing feet can help you maintain foot health.
If you notice changes in the way your feet feel or look, make an appointment immediately. Foot ulcers, cuts or blisters that don’t heal, and changes in foot shape are all signs you need to seek medical attention for potential complications of diabetes.
Don’t wait to get the foot care you need. Contact one of our convenient Nashville-area offices to see a podiatrist today.
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