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Diabetes, particularly poorly treated diabetes, has been linked to circulation problems and nerve damage. This may result in foot infections, blisters, discomfort, and ulcers. The harm can be serious in some circumstances. Infections in the feet have the potential to spread, harming other organs and perhaps posing a serious health risk. This article examines diabetic foot problems that can affect people with poorly controlled or uncontrolled diabetes and discusses ways to manage and prevent them.

Common Diabetic Foot Problems 

Here are a few examples of foot problems which may occur as a result of diabetes: 

Blisters 

Multiple factors contribute to diabetes’ increased risk of blisters. First off, diabetic neuropathy may impair a person’s ability to recognise when their shoes are rubbing due to lack of sensation in the feet. Additionally, it might alter how they walk, which would make blisters more likely. Bullous diabeticorum, which refers to the spontaneous development of blisters, is another condition that diabetics may develop. Doctors are unclear as to why these blisters develop.

Blisters may get infected, leading to pain and raising the possibility of a systemic infection.

Diabetic Ulcers 

Each year, a very small percentage of individuals with peripheral neuropathy develop diabetic foot ulcers. A person might not become aware of the ulcers until they are severe due to a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. Insufficient blood flow might also delay wound healing. If ulcers are not treated, the foot may develop an infection which increases the chance of amputation.

Diabetic Neuropathy 

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD) is more common in people with diabetes, particularly if they don’t take their medication or have trouble managing their blood sugar. PVD happens when fatty deposits restrict blood flow in the arteries. Blood flow to and from the extremities, such as the hands and feet, is typically reduced by PVD because these arteries are some of the smallest and narrowest in the body. Reduced blood flow can cause nerve damage, numbness, infections, and slow healing of wounds.

A person with diabetes may find it challenging to feel discomfort, pain, or notice infection in their foot due to their condition. A person’s shoes may rub without them realising it. Blisters, rashes and wounds are more likely to occur as a result of this loss of feeling. Since a person might not be aware they have an infection, which would inevitably delay getting treatment for one.

Diabetic Calluses 

Areas of hardened, thicker skin cells are called calluses. Large calluses on the feet may affect how well shoes fit and make walking uncomfortable. The main problem with calluses is that they make it more likely for infections and ulcers to manifest. Protecting the feet requires preventing calluses in the first place and eliminating them as needed.

Foot Infections 

Diabetes ulcers are more susceptible to infection, particularly if they are not treated or kept clean. These infections have the potential to spread to the bloodstream, harming organs and putting a person’s life at risk. Additionally, gangrene, which results in tissue death, can then lead to  amputation.

If deep enough, Infections in the feet have the potential to reach the bones and other supporting structures that can result in permanent damage. Additionally, poor circulation harms supporting structures. This might alter the form of the foot resulting in a characteristic high-arched foot, making walking more painful and challenging.

How Can We Help with Your Diabetic Foot Problems

Even if your feet appear to be in good health, it’s crucial to inspect them every day to look for any changes. To test your nerves and circulation and to have your feet maintained, book in to see one of our podiatrists who will be able to assist you in avoiding such potential diabetic foot problems. ​You can contact us via email or call us on 01302 342 971, and we can assist you with the best appointment for you. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with our clinical updates and offers!

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What are Some Diabetic Foot Problems to be Aware of?