Diabetes has a profound effect on the feet. It can damage nerves and cause neuropathy making it hard for you to feel injuries or sore spots. Diabetes can also change blood flow, making it difficult for small problems, such as a blister, to heal properly. In fact, minor injuries can quickly become serious infections that send you to the hospital. It’s important to practice self-care to protect your feet and keep them healthy.
“More than half of limb amputations in the United States are related to complications of diabetes,” said wound specialist, Krista Schulte, CWOCN, FNP. “This is why it is important to look at your feet daily for any kind of skin damage such as a sore or cut which could easily become infected if it goes unnoticed.”
Neuropathy can also cause a change in the function of the muscles of the foot which may lead to altered alignment causing too much pressure in one area which may result in a diabetic foot ulcer. Diabetes can also affect the flow of blood in the lower legs which is known as peripheral vascular disease. Smoking can further decrease the amount of oxygen that gets to the lower leg.
Prevention is key to limiting risk of complications to the diabetic foot. To help keep foot problems from developing, follow these suggestions:
Krista Schulte shares more in the video below:
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