diabetestalk.net

Why Can T People With Diabetes Feel Their Feet?

Diabetes And Cold Feet

Diabetes And Cold Feet

We’ve all heard of a bride or groom “getting cold feet” before walking down the aisle, but for people with diabetes, having cold feet takes on another meaning entirely. What causes cold feet? Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, is one of the most common causes of cold feet. About sixty to seventy percent of people with diabetes develop some form of neuropathy over time. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is actually the cause of all kinds of symptoms, including tingling, burning, or sensitivity to touch. Your feet might seem warm to the touch, but feel cold to you. Symptoms may worsen at night. Poor circulation is another common cause of cold feet. Poor circulation makes it more challenging for your heart to pump warm blood to your extremities, keeping your feet cooler than the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease, caused by clogged arteries in your legs, can reduce circulation and lead to cold feet. This could be a sign of something more serious, like increased risk for heart attack or stroke, but your doctor can usually detect it by checking the pulse in your legs. Certain medications, particularly those that cause blood vessels to constrict, can cause cold feet. Popular medications associated with cold feet are those to treat blood pressure, migraine headaches, and head colds. Talk to your pharmacist if you start to experience cold feet after starting a particular medication. Hypothyroidism is a condition caused by an underactive thyroid. Low levels of thyroid hormone interfere with your body’s metabolism, contributing to reduced circulation and colder feet. Other causes of cold feet Restless legs syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder that causes funny sensations in your legs when at rest, such as creeping, crawling, aching—and, so Continue reading >>

To Protect Feet From Diabetes, Focus On The Good Days

To Protect Feet From Diabetes, Focus On The Good Days

Most treatment for diabetic foot ulcers focuses on repairing surrounding tissue and healing the wound, but a new study says that’s the wrong approach. Instead doctors should concentrate on remission—that is, extending the time between ulcer formation. As many as one-third of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer, which can lead to complications such as strokes, heart attacks, infections, loss of limbs, and even premature death. Extending patients’ ulcer-free days using treatment and prevention is essential, says David Armstrong, professor of surgery and director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson, and author of a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. “This paper is the first of its kind to call attention to remission. The word ‘remission’ has been mentioned in the literature over the last few years. But this is the loudest call yet, and more than any other work before, [it] lays out data in a way that sort of flips the script from healing to what we do in between healed wounds.” People with foot ulcers may have a lessened ability to feel pain coupled with repetitive stress on specific areas of the foot. Once healed, as many as 40 percent of patients will have recurrence of some kind in a year. This rises to three-quarters of patients by five years. Morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes is like cancer, Armstrong says. But clinicians have yet to treat them the same. “The real idea here is…to help people move through their world a little better and give them more ulcer-free days and more activity-rich days.” “Diabetes can be more significant than many forms of cancer. This is a concept that’s misaligned right now in medicine. As we move toward diseases 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 >>

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

Nerve Damage (diabetic Neuropathies)

What are diabetic neuropathies? Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness—loss of feeling—in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs. About 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight. What causes diabetic neuropathies? The causes are probably different for different types of diabetic neuropathy. Researchers are studying how prolonged exposure to high blood glucose causes nerve damage. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors: metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use What are the symptoms of diabetic neuropathies? Symptoms depend on the type of neuropathy and which Continue reading >>

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 >>

The Effect Of Diabetes On The Feet

The Effect Of Diabetes On The Feet

Skin Changes Diabetes can cause changes in the skin of your foot. At times your foot may become very dry. The skin may peel and crack. The problem is that the nerves that control sweating in your foot no longer work. After bathing, dry your feet, and seal in the moisture that remains with a thin coat of a lubricant. You can use plain petroleum jelly, unscented hand creams, or other such products. Do not put oils or creams between your toes. The extra moisture can lead to infection. Also, most health care providers believe you should not soak your feet. Calluses Calluses occur more often and build up faster on the feet of people with diabetes. Using a pumice stone every day will help keep calluses under control. It is best to use the pumice stone on wet skin. Put on lotion right after you use the pumice stone. Calluses, if not trimmed, get very thick, break down, and turn into ulcers (open sores). Never try to cut calluses or corns yourself-this can lead to ulcers and infection. Let your health care provider cut your calluses. Also, do not try to remove calluses and corns with chemical agents. These products can burn your skin. Foot Ulcers Ulcers occur most often over the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes. Remember, even though some Ulcers do not hurt, every ulcer should be seen by your health care provider right away. Neglecting ulcers can result in infections, which in turn can lead to loss of a limb. What your health care provider will do varies with your ulcer. Your health care provider should take X rays of your foot to make sure the bone is not infected. The health care provider will cut out any dead and infected tissue. You may need to go into the hospital for this. Also, the h Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Feet | First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic

Diabetes And Your Feet | First Coast Foot & Ankle Clinic

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 15.7 million people (5.9 percent of the United States population) have diabetes. Nervous system damage (also called neuropathy) affects about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes and is a major complication that may cause diabetics to lose feeling in their feet or hands. Diabetes is a lifelong chronic disease that is caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. It can also decrease your body's ability to fight off infections, which is especially harmful in your feet. When diabetes is not properly controlled, damage can occur to the organs and impairment of the immune system is also likely to occur. With damage to your nervous system, you may not be able to feel your feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired, which can lead to an abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and other activities. This can even lead to the breakdown of the skin of the foot, which often causes sores to develop. If you have diabetes, it is important to prevent foot problems before they occur, recognize problems early, and seek the right treatment when a problem does happen. Here's some basic advice for taking care of your feet: Always keep your feet warm. Don't get your feet wet in snow or rain. Keep feet away from heat (heating pads, hot water pads, electric blankets, radiators, fireplaces). You can burn your feet without knowing it. Water temperature should be less than 92 degrees. Estimate with your elbow or bath thermometer (you can get one in any store that sells infant products). Avoid smoking or sitting cross-legged. Both reduce blood flow to your feet. Avoid soaking feet. Don't use antiseptic solutions (such as iodine or salicylic ac Continue reading >>

Diabetes , 5 Tips To Protect Your Feet

Diabetes , 5 Tips To Protect Your Feet

HEALTH FEATURE ARCHIVE Diabetes is the #1 reason for limb amputation in the United States. Since poor circulation resulted in these conditions leads to diminished sensation and ability to feel pain, many diabetics are unaware when they sustain foot injuries and are less likely to manage or treat the injury immediately. From playing sports on the beach and swimming, to walking in sandals or open toed shoes, many summer activities put patients with diabetes at risk for foot injuries that could lead to more serious diabetic complications - even amputation. These helpful tips are recommended by Dr. Riccardo Perfetti, Director of the Diabetes Outpatient Treatment and Education Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. Maintain proper glucose levels. You should maintain a glucose level lower than 126 mg/dl on a consistent basis. You can do this through regular exercise and close attention to how often you eat and what types of foods you consume. See your physician or nutritionist to develop a diet plan that works for your individual needs and lifestyle. If the shoes fit, wear them - all the time! Diabetics should never walk barefoot, even in-doors. Something as minor as stubbing a toe on a coffee table or bumping a soccer ball at the park can lead to a serious foot ulcer. While at the beach, seashells, glass or debris from the ocean can puncture the skin and cause serious infections that can be perpetuated by diabetes. For diabetics with circulation problems or neuropathy when sensation in the feet is diminished, walking barefoot on hot pavement is especially dangerous and can lead to severe burns and infection. There are a variety of closed-toe beach shoes on the market that help protect feet against these types of injuries. Invest in a couple of pairs Continue reading >>

Diabetes And How It Affects Feet

Diabetes And How It Affects Feet

If you have diabetes, you have probably noticed that it affects your health in many ways. But it can be easy to overlook one spot that often escapes close attention: your feet. Understand the problem Just a small foot sore can lead to a diabetic ulcer and even amputation if not treated properly and in a timely manner. So if you have diabetes, every cut or sore should be taken seriously. ››RELATED: Back-to-school safety: Know the rules? “Diabetes can lead to pressure or small blood vessel disease in your feet, causing nerve damage and circulation problems,” says Baker Machhadieh, MD, with Kettering Physician Network Endocrinology and Diabetes in Hamilton. “A loss of feeling — often in the feet or legs — means minor injuries can go unnoticed, allowing infection to set in.” A diabetic foot ulcer can occur almost anywhere on the foot. But very often they appear on the ball, the bottom of the big toe, or the top or sides of the foot. It can be caused by ill-fitting shoes pressing or rubbing against the skin, or it can be triggered by an injury. The good news is most diabetic ulcers and foot sores are preventable. Practice prevention Dr. Machhadieh says the first line of defense against ulcers and other foot problems is controlling your blood sugar levels and keeping your feet clean and well cared for. Here are other steps you can take: • Wash your feet daily with mild soap in warm — not hot — water. • Don’t let your feet dry out and crack. • Rub lotion on your feet daily but not between your toes. • Wear shoes that fit well but are not too snug. • Wear cotton socks, and change them every day. • Never go barefoot, not even at home. • Ask your healthcare provider to check your feet at every visit—or at least once a year. • Don’t smoke. 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 >>

Have Diabetes? Take Care Of Your Feet!

Have Diabetes? Take Care Of Your Feet!

How can diabetes hurt my feet? People with diabetes are at risk for foot infections. Too much sugar in the blood for a long time can cause nerve damage which reduces feeling, especially in your feet. You may not feel pain, or hot or cold. You might hurt your foot and not even know it. If you have less feeling in your feet, you may walk a little bit different which can cause calluses that sometimes get infected. Also, diabetes can cause less blood to flow to your legs and feet; this might make it hard for a sore on your foot to get better. What happens if I get a sore on my foot? If the sore gets infected and you do not get antibiotics, it could continue to get worse, possibly never healing. Sometimes the sore gets gangrene. If this happens, the sore may get black and smell bad. To keep gangrene from getting worse, the doctor may need to cut off the toes or foot. How should I take care of my feet? Decrease the possibility of getting sores on your feet by doing the following: Check your feet every day. Look for sores, cuts, blisters, or redness, especially in between the toes. If you cannot see your feet, use a mirror to check them or have a family member or friend check them for you. Keep your feet clean and dry. Wash them with WARM (not hot) water every day. Remember, you may not know the water is too hot if you put just your feet in it. To check the water temperature, dip your elbow in the water. Make sure your toenails are cut. Cut them after a bath when they are soft. Cut them in the shape of your toes and not too short. Gently file corns and calluses after your bath or shower. Use a pumice stone or an emery board. If you don’t have good feeling in your feet, go to a foot doctor to get your toenails cut. Also, the foot doctor will file corns or calluses. Don’t le Continue reading >>

Foot Care Advice For People With Diabetes

Foot Care Advice For People With Diabetes

When you’re living with diabetes, what you can’t feel can still hurt you. This is especially true when it comes to your feet and the nerve damage you may be suffering. If you’ve just learned you have diabetes, you should arrange to meet with a podiatrist and talk about the importance of foot care, say experts Erika M. Schwartz, DPM, a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and Dr. David G. Armstrong, a podiatric surgeon and professor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Surgery. Here, the doctors help you sidestep the foot pain complications of diabetes: Q. When it comes to foot care, what is the first thing someone just diagnosed with diabetes should know? Besides building a relationship with a podiatrist, a person with diabetes should know that most ulcerations and amputations are preventable, but proper foot care is essential. Q. What is actually happening when you lose sensation in your feet? Neuropathy describes the loss of sensation that arises from nerve damage. Over time, diabetes leads to what’s called a “loss of protective sensation,” or LOPS and because it occurs so slowly, many people don’t notice it. According to the National Diabetes Clearing House, about 60 to 70 percent of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy, which can occur in other organ systems, not just the feet. Q. How can I protect myself from nerve damage? Neuropathies are the result of several factors, the largest being exposure to high blood glucose levels. Keeping blood sugar levels low is the best protection against nerve damage in a diabetic person. “There is some compelling emerging evidence that controlling high lipid levels may reduce the progression of neuropathy, too,” says Dr. Armstrong. Q. Do feet need to be examined Continue reading >>

Foot Care For People With Diabetes

Foot Care For People With Diabetes

Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.org, the AAFP patient education website. How does diabetes affect my body? Diabetes makes your blood sugar level higher than normal. A high blood sugar level can damage your blood vessels and nerves. Damage to the blood vessels in your feet may mean that your feet get less blood. Damage to the nerves may cause you to lose some of the feeling (sensation) in your feet. Why should I worry about my feet? People with diabetes often have foot problems. Part of the problem is that if you have any loss of feeling in your feet, it's hard to tell if you have a blister or sore. Sores may take a long time to heal. If foot sores aren't taken care of, you might get a foot ulcer (a very serious, deep sore). If the ulcer then gets infected, you may need to go to the hospital for treatment or even have part of your foot amputated (removed). The good news is that with proper care you can help prevent foot problems. How should I care for my feet to avoid serious problems? Careful control of your blood sugar is the key to avoiding foot problems. It may help to monitor (check) your blood sugar level every day at home (this is called blood glucose self-monitoring). Be sure to follow your doctor's advice on diet, exercise and medicine. Here are some other things you can do to take care of your feet if you have diabetes: Check your feet daily. Call your doctor if you have redness, swelling, infection, prolonged pain, numbness or tingling in any part of a foot. Wash your feet every day with lukewarm (not hot) water and mild soap. Dry your fee Continue reading >>

Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?

Sensitive Feet And Diabetes: Why My Feet Hurt?

What is nerve damage from diabetes? Diabetic neuropathies are nerve damage caused by diabetes. Neuropathy is one of the most common long term complications of diabetes. It can occur anywhere in the body, and in any organ. Symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and loss of protective sensation can be found in the hands, arms, fingers, feet, legs, toes, and lips. You may also have symptoms of nerve damage in the digestive system (gastroparesis), in the heart, or in sexual organs (erectile dysfunction, or vaginal dryness). In this article, we will be mainly looking at peripheral neuropathy in the feet, also commonly known as sensitive feet. What are sensitive feet? Patients complain about numbness and tingling in their feet and toes, or elsewhere, with a frequency that is more often than in similar reports of other diabetes complications they experience. It’s no wonder these patients with diabetes have complaints of neuropathy symptoms. Other than the tingling sensation or the numbness usually associated with neuropathy, those who have it complain about how much it hurts to put their socks and shoes on. The skin is sensitive to touch, to a point where one can’t even brush up against anything. It is likened to an over-sensitivity and mild pain that is uncomfortable. If it goes on day in and day out, it can be frustrating. Sometimes, a person with diabetes may also get other related foot problems, such as plantar fasciitis. This condition affects the heel of the foot, and can be extremely painful. You will find it too sore to walk with plantar fasciitis. Even without heel problems, the generalized foot pain and soreness can become severe. It has been found that as many as 60 to 70% of people with diabetes have neuropathy somewhere in their body. The longer you have diabete Continue reading >>

Hot Feet Can Signal Trouble For Diabetics

Hot Feet Can Signal Trouble For Diabetics

Print Font: WASHINGTON — New research shows that using a special thermometer to measure the temperature of the soles of diabetics' feet can give patients enough early warning to avoid one of the disease's most intractable complications, loss of a limb. More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be? Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring. It is a simple-sounding protection for such a huge problem. Foot ulcers each year strike 600,000 U.S. diabetics, people slow to notice they even have a wound because diabetes has numbed their feet. "They've lost the gift of pain," says Dr. David Armstrong of Chicago's Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a diabetic foot specialist. Worse, foot ulcers are so slow-healing and vulnerable to infection that they are to blame for most of the roughly 80,000 amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that diabetics in the US undergo each year. So word that an easy-to-use gadget could help is generating excitement. Using the thermometer reduced by nearly two-thirds the number of high-risk patients who got foot ulcers, Armstrong found in a study of 225 diabetic veterans, the third in a series of government-funded research to back the approach. How does it work? Inflammation goes along with tissue injury, and inflammation can be measured by a bump in temperature. It's subtle — a few degrees between, say, your right big toe and your left one that can occur days before the skin breaks. "A wound really will heat up Continue reading >>

More in diabetes