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What Does Your Feet Have To Do With Diabetes?

Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Symptoms Of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by long-term high blood sugar levels, which causes nerve damage. Some people will not have any symptoms. But for others symptoms may be debilitating. Between 60 and 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Peripheral neuropathy, the most common form of diabetic neuropathy, affects the legs, feet, toes, hands, and arms. Many people do not know that they have diabetes. People unaware of their diabetes may not know what’s causing some of the unusual sensations they’re experiencing. Nerve damage is the result of high levels of blood glucose over long periods of time. It isn’t entirely clear why high glucose levels damage nerves. A number of factors may play a role in nerve fiber damage. One possible component is the intricate interplay between the blood vessels and nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic. Other factors include high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and nerve inflammation. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy usually first appears in the feet and legs, and may occur in the hands and arms later. A common symptom of diabetic peripheral neuropathy is numbness. Sometimes you may be unable to feel your feet while walking. Other times, your hands or feet will tingle or burn. Or it may feel like you’re wearing a sock or glove when you’re not. Sometimes you may experience sudden, sharp pains that feel like an electrical current. Other times, you may feel cramping, like when you’re grasping something like a piece of silverware. You also may sometimes unintentionally drop items you’re holding as a result of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Walking with a wobbly motion or even losing your balance can res Continue reading >>

Why Do Your Feet Hurt?

Why Do Your Feet Hurt?

In the days before modern medicine, someone who lived long enough with diabetes may have had one or both legs amputated. I assumed it did not happen anymore, until I read about people with diabetes who have ignored high blood sugar levels and developed complications requiring amputations. It seemed impossible that this could still be happening. Then the pain and numbness in my own feet sent me looking for answers. What caused it, and what could I do about it? I learned that the path from high blood sugar to foot ulcers and amputations often goes through a condition called peripheral neuropathy, the medical term for nerve damage in the hands, feet, arms, and legs that often causes pain and numbness. Diabetes and nerve damage High blood sugar damages blood vessels. One doctor described the extra glucose floating in the blood of someone with diabetes as similar to bits of glass scraping along the walls of veins and arteries. The tiniest blood vessels are easily damaged. That is why eyes, feet, and kidneys are so vulnerable, showing signs of blood vessel damage, sometimes even before a person is aware he has diabetes. Fingers and toes can become numb or overly sensitive when the blood vessels that supply the nerves are hurt. The longest nerves in your body run down your spine into your feet, ending at your toes. This makes feet an easy target for damage from peripheral neuropathy. Feet with nerve damage Because of diabetes we must care more about issues like foot ulcers, infections, ingrown nails, toenail fungus, and sores. The greatest enemy to our feet is numbness, because pain is the thing that warns us something is wrong. Peripheral neuropathy may make your feet more sensitive to touch while at the same time the numbness it may cause can mask problems like hot spots tha Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Feet

Type 2 Diabetes And Your Feet

For people with diabetes, foot complications such as neuropathy and circulation problems can make it difficult for wounds to heal. Serious problems can arise from common skin issues such as: sores cuts ulcers Diabetes that is not well controlled can lead to slower healing. These slow-to-heal wounds can lead to infections. Other foot issues, such as calluses, are also common in people with diabetes. While calluses may not seem worrisome, if left untrimmed they can turn into ulcers or open sores. People with diabetes are also at risk for Charcot joint, a condition in which a weight-bearing joint progressively degenerates, leading to bone loss and deformity. Because of nerve damage, people with diabetes may not immediately notice that there are problems with their feet. Over time, people with diabetic neuropathy can develop foot problems that cannot be healed, which can lead to amputations. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower-extremity amputations in the United States. Uncontrolled high blood sugar levels in people with poorly controlled diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy, the medical term for numbness and loss of sensation due to damage to the nerves that serve the feet and hands. People with diabetic neuropathy cannot feel various sensations, such as pressure or touch, as intensely as those without damage to their nerves. On the other hand, peripheral neuropathy is often very painful, causing burning, tingling, or other painful feelings in the feet. If a wound is not felt right away, it can go unchecked. Poor circulation can make it difficult for the body to heal these wounds. Infection can then set in and become so serious that amputation becomes necessary. Checking the feet for abnormalities is a very important part of diabetes care. Abnormalities may Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems

Diabetes And Foot Problems

For people with diabetes, having too much glucose (sugar) in their blood for a long time can cause some serious complications, including foot problems. you might like Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet: Diabetic neuropathy. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your nerves. If you have damaged nerves in your legs and feet, you might not feel heat, cold, or pain. This lack of feeling is called "sensory diabetic neuropathy." If you do not feel a cut or sore on your foot because of neuropathy, the cut could get worse and become infected. The muscles of the foot may not function properly, because the nerves that make the muscles work are damaged. This could cause the foot to not align properly and create too much pressure in one area of the foot. It is estimated that up to 10% of people with diabetes will develop foot ulcers. Foot ulcers occur because of nerve damage and peripheral vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease. Diabetes also affects the flow of blood. Without good blood flow, it takes longer for a sore or cut to heal. Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called "peripheral vascular disease." Peripheral vascular disease is a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels away from the heart. If you have an infection that will not heal because of poor blood flow, you are at risk for developing ulcers or gangrene (the death of tissue due to a lack of blood). Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Care Article

Diabetic Foot Care Article

A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>

11 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Legs If You Have Diabetes

11 Tips To Protect Your Feet And Legs If You Have Diabetes

1 / 12 How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet and Legs? If you're managing diabetes, you may encounter problems with your feet and legs, two common complications of the disease. Diabetes puts you at higher risk for calluses, corns, bunions, blisters, and ulcers — and high blood sugar means these minor injuries and alterations may become gateways to potentially disabling infections. But you can take several steps to help keep your feet in good shape, including wearing specialized footwear, having regular foot exams, and performing low-impact exercise. Why does this complication occur in the first place? First, know that high blood sugar levels damage nerves. Researchers aren’t exactly sure how this damage happens, but they think that blood sugar may have a negative effect on the nervous system’s cells and enzymes, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. These damaged nerves may lead to diabetic neuropathy, a condition in which you lose feeling in your feet or your hands. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, neuropathy occurs in about 70 percent of people with diabetes, and its symptoms can result in harmful infections. After all, if you can't feel your feet, you won't be able to notice cuts, sores, or pain. And if you can’t feel these irritations and wounds, they may lead to infection, and untreated infections can lead to gangrene, which in turn can require amputation. Neuropathy is the cause of the dry skin experienced by many of those with diabetes: The disabled nerves in your feet can’t receive the brain’s message to sweat. Dry feet crack, which makes it possible for germs to enter the body. Nerve damage can also cause changes to the shape of your feet, which can make previously comfortable shoes hard to walk in. Continue reading >>

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

What Can I Do For Numb, Painful Feet And Legs?

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes almost a year ago. At first he was experiencing numbness in his feet. Over the past few months, he began having pain as well, sometimes as far up his leg as his calf. What can we do to help these symptoms? I have read that vitamin E and even flaxseed oil are good for the circulation. Would those be helpful? Continue reading >>

Diabetic Foot Pain

Diabetic Foot Pain

by Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Includes photo of Dr. Kenneth B. Rehm, DPM Diabetes is one of the most common reasons people seek relief for painful feet. With diabetes, four types of foot problems may arise in the feet. Nerve Problems due to Diabetes The most common contributor to diabetic foot pain is a nerve problem called Peripheral Neuropathy. This is where the nerves are directly affected by the disease process. There are basically three types of peripheral neuropathy: sensory, motor, and autonomic neuropathy. A large percentage of pain diabetic patients complain of is due to sensory neuropathy. This can show up as "sensitive pain," where the amount of pain is not proportional to the amount of insult that is causing it. For instance, just touching the skin or putting a sheet over your feet in bed could be painful. This can be present at the same time as numbness in the feet. Sensory neuropathy symptoms can include burning, tingling or a stabbing pain. Relief is foremost on someone's mind when painful neuropathy has raised its ugly head. The first thing to do is to check your blood sugar for the past several weeks to see if there has been a trend toward high blood sugar (Editor's Note: The A1c test is traditionally employed to determine this, and should be repeated about every three months.) Persistent high blood sugar can contribute to this type of pain. Massaging your feet with a diabetic foot cream, or using a foot roller, often takes the edge off the pain. Vitamin B preparations are often recommended; and there are a variety of prescription medications that do work. Using cushioned, supportive shoes and foot support inserts is always needed to protect the feet from the pounding, rubbing and irritating pressures that contribute to neuropathic pain. Motor neuropathy can Continue reading >>

How Can Diabetes Affect The Feet?

How Can Diabetes Affect The Feet?

People with diabetes are prone to foot problems caused by prolonged periods of high blood sugar. There are two main foot problems, each of which can have serious complications. Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot produce insulin or cannot use it effectively. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for helping the cells take in sugar to use for energy. When this does not happen properly, the levels of sugar in the blood can become too high. Prolonged periods of high sugar levels in the blood can wreak havoc on many areas of the body, including the feet. Diabetic foot problems The two main foot problems that affect people with diabetes are: Diabetic neuropathy Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage that makes it hard for people with diabetes to feel sensation in their extremities. The condition also makes it difficult for a person to feel an irritation on their foot or notice when their shoes are rubbing. This lack of sensation and awareness leads to an increase in the risk of cuts, sores, and blisters developing. Peripheral vascular disease Diabetes leads to changes in the blood vessels, including arteries. In peripheral vascular disease, fatty deposits block these vessels beyond the brain and heart. It tends to affect the blood vessels leading to and from the extremities, reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. Reduced blood flow can lead to pain, infection, and slow healing wounds. Severe infections may lead to amputation. Symptoms Symptoms may vary from person to person and may depend on what issues a person is experiencing at the time. Symptoms of diabetic foot problems can include the following: loss of feeling numbness or tingling sensation blisters or other wounds without painful skin discoloration skin temperature changes red streaks wounds with Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications

Diabetes and foot problems facts Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems arise due to the decreased sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease. Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not specific to diabetes, but may occur more commonly due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. Treatment depends on the exact type of foot problem. Surgery or even amputation may be required for some cases. Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to absence of blood circulation. It can be life threatening if bacterial infection develops (wet gangrene). Many diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet. How can diabetes cause foot problems? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. Two main conditions, 1) peripheral artery disease (PAD), and 2) peripheral neuropathy are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), means that there is narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain. This is sometimes referred to as "hardening" of the arteries. Diabetes is a known risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease. In addition to pain in the calves during exercise (medically known as intermitte Continue reading >>

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?

Chronically high blood sugar (glucose) levels can be associated with serious complications in people who have diabetes. The feet are especially at risk. Two conditions called diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can damage the feet (and other areas of the body) in people who have diabetes. What is diabetic neuropathy? Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called "sensory diabetic neuropathy" increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury. What is peripheral vascular disease? Diabetes is associated with poor circulation (blood flow). Inadequate blood flow increases the healing time for cuts and sores. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs. Poor blood flow increases the risk that infections will not heal. This, in turn, increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, which is tissue death that occurs in a localized area when there is an inadequate blood supply. What are common foot problems of people with diabetes? The following images show common foot problems that anyone can get; however, those with diabetes are at increased risk for serious complications associated with these conditions, including infection and even amputation. Athlete's foot Fungal infection of the feet is called athlete's foot. Cracked skin, itching, and redness are associated w Continue reading >>

Foot Care

Foot Care

When you have diabetes you need to take care of your feet every day Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations Daily care can prevent serious complications Check your feet daily for changes or problems Visit a podiatrist annually for a check up or more frequently if your feet are at high risk Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves in your feet, blood circulation and infection. Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and amputations. This damage is more likely if: You have had diabetes for a long time Your blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period You smoke – smoking causes a reduced blood flow to your feet, wounds heal slowly You are inactive. It's important to check your feet every day. If you see any of the following- get medical treatment that *day * Ulcer Unusual swelling Redness Blisters Ingrown nail Bruising or cuts If you see any of the following- get medical treatment within 7 days Broken skin between toes Callus Corn Foot shape changes Cracked skin Nail colour changes Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include: Numbness Coldness of the legs A tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet Burning pains in the legs and feet, usually more noticeable in bed at night. These symptoms can result in a loss of sensation in the feet which increases the risk of accidental damage because you can’t feel any pain. An injury to the feet can develop into an ulcer on the bottom of a foot which can penetrate to the bone. This could lead to infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) and a chronic infection in the bones and joints. If an infection isn’t treated at the earliest signs, this could result in ulceration (an infected open sore) and eventually Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet

Diabetes And Your Feet

If you have diabetes, here’s a way to keep standing on your own two feet: check them every day—even if they feel fine—and see your doctor if you have a cut or blister that won’t heal. There’s a lot to manage if you have diabetes: checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. But daily care is one of the best ways to prevent foot complications. Between 60% and 70% of people with diabetes have diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). You can have nerve damage in any part of your body, but nerves in your feet and legs are most often affected. Nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet. Feeling No Pain Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early. Risk Factors Anyone with diabetes can develop nerve damage, but these factors increase your risk: Nerve damage, along with poor circulation—another diabetes complication—puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well. If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading and to save your life. When you check your feet every day, you can catch problems early Continue reading >>

How To Avoid Amputations If You Have Diabetes

How To Avoid Amputations If You Have Diabetes

In people with diabetes, a trifecta of trouble can set the stage for amputations: Numbness in the feet due to diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage) can make people less aware of injuries and foot ulcers. These ulcers may fail to heal, which can in turn lead to serious infections. "Normally a person with an injury on the bottom of their foot, such as a blister, will change the way they walk. Your gait will alter because you are going to protect that blistered spot until it heals up," says Joseph LeMaster, MD, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine. "People with a loss of sensation don't do that. They will just walk right on top of that blister as though it wasn't there. It can burst, become infected, and turn into what we call a foot ulcer," he says. "That ulceration can go right down to the bone and become an avenue for infection into the whole foot. That's what leads to amputations." Foot injuries are the most common cause of hospitalizations About 15% of all diabetics will develop a foot ulcer at some point and up to 24% of people with a foot ulcer need an amputation. You're at extra-high risk if you're black, Hispanic, or Native American. These minority populations are two to three times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, and their rates of amputations are higher. "It's the most common reason that someone's going to be hospitalized with diabetesnot for high blood sugar or a heart attack or a stroke," says David G. Armstrong, DPM, a specialist in diabetic foot disease at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. "It's for a hole in the foot, a wound." About a year ago, Dr. Armstrong treated a 59-year-old man with type 2 diabetes who had been working out at a local health club; 12 Continue reading >>

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