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.
Peripheral vascular disease
Diabetes leads to changes in the blood vessels, including arteries. In peripheral vascular disease, fatty deposits block vessels beyond the brain and heart.
It tends to affect blood vessels leading to and from the extremities, such as the hands and feet, reducing blood flow to both.
Reduced blood flow can lead to pain, infection, and wounds that heal slowly. If a person develops a severe infection, a doctor may recommend amputation.
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 include foot care. A foot doctor, also called a podiatrist, and other specialists may be part of your health care team.
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems that develop due to prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels. Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are the two main foot problems that occur, and both can have serious complications.