Foot Health | Diabetes and your feet
Diabetes is becoming more and more common, with almost 20 percent of Bahamians currently living with the disease. It is also one of the leading causes of death. With the increasing numbers of obesity and poor lifestyle choices, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of people with diabetes worldwide is projected to increase exponentially and that deaths due to diabetes will double by 2030.
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels over time, which can have detrimental effects on the feet and many other organs in the body including the heart, eyes, and kidneys. All diabetics are at high risk for foot ulcers that take a long time, or never heal, leading to infections, amputations and possibly death. In five years, more people die from a diabetic foot ulcer or a lower limb amputation than persons with prostate cancer, breast cancer or Hodgkin Lymphoma.
Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves causing loss of feeling in both feet. Diabetes can also cause the feet and toes to be deformed and change their shape and the skin can become very dry and cracked. These changes put all diabetics at high risk for foot complications such as ulcers that take a long time or never heal leading to infections and even amputations.
Damage to the blood vessels can lead to Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) or poor blood flow to the feet. This decreased circulation or blood flow to the leg and foot will cause poor healing if there is a cut or sore on the foot. If there is an infection, it will take a long time to treat because there is not enough blood to tak Continue reading