Diabetes can cause a host of serious medical complications such as glaucoma, kidney disease, liver problems, heart disease, and stroke. One of the early warnings that you may be developing diabetes is a condition called peripheral neuropathy which can cause numbness and tingling in your extremities. Your feet are often one of the first places that these symptoms may arise, so keep on the look out for the following:
- Lack of feeling—As the nerves in your feet become more damaged, you will experience a sense of numbness and tingling which makes it difficult to know if you have hurt your feet. You could walk around all day with a rock in your shoe and not even realize it.
- Healing takes longer—Due to the reduced blood flow to the feet you may notice that minor cuts or scrapes are taking longer to heal, or not healing at all. This can lead to complications like infection and even amputation of a toe or foot in extreme cases.
See your foot specialist right away if you notice such symptoms so a customized treatment plan can be developed. For those that have diabetes, maintaining good foot health is critical to avoiding major complications, so follow these quick and easy tips:
- Inspect your feet daily—Look for sores or cuts, and make sure to check the bottom and between the toes. Use a mirror if necessary,
- Wash your feet daily—and be sure to dry them completely. Dry between the toes also.
- Trim your nails straight across—An ingrown toenail can lead to an infection and amputation, so be sure to cut your nails correctly or have someone cut them for you.
- Wear special shoes—that have plenty of room in the toe box and provide good support and balance.
- Quit smoking—Smoking constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow which can make healing of wounds and cuts take much longer.
- Corn and callus treatment—Because of the risk of cutting, it is best to leave this to your foot doctor.
If you are experiencing foot pain, numbness or wounds on your feet that are not healing, it is very important to get the advice of a foot specialist.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.