Diabetics regularly check their blood sugar levels. Another regular checkup should be monitoring the health of their feet.
Diabetes causes complications that often lead to foot problems. These included nerve damage and poor circulation. Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) means a loss of feeling in a patient’s foot. Without the ability to feel pain or discomfort a minor problem may blossom into a major one without the patient realizing it. The lack of feeling prevents early detection of a problem, which is the best way to prevent a wound from developing into an ulcer.
Poor circulation, the other complication that puts diabetics at risk, lowers the body’s natural ability to heal. This means that diabetics must pay extra attention to wounds because their body does not have the same self-healthy properties of other patients.
The combination of poor circulation and neuropathy leads to a potentially dangerous situation for diabetics.
Diabetics need to examine their feet for cuts or blisters especially when switching into a new pair of shoes. Pressure from tight fitting shoes may cause an injury that can lead to a foot ulcer. Ulcers are a break in the skin, which reach chronic status when infected. Ulcers are more likely to become chronic in patients with poor circulation. Chronic foot ulcers are a leading cause of amputation.
For patients with diabetes checking their feet for minor injuries should be considered a vital part of maintaining their health.