The health of your feet is probably not the first thing you think about when you are diagnosed with diabetes. It's probably not the second or third thing you think about, either. If that is the case, you should know that proper foot care is a hallmark of diabetes management. Diabetes can disrupt the communication of nerve signals to and from the brain and affect normal blood flow to your feet. These things can cause significant and severe issues if not managed properly. Diabetic foot care is a critical piece of diabetes management provided by Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel from Emerald Cost Podiatry in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, FL, and serving Niceville, FL.
What are issues with my feet that can be caused by diabetes?
Minor issues with the feet that may not bother someone else can progress into a serious condition if you have diabetes. A small cut, burn or bruise. People with diabetes may not even be aware of an injury to the foot because they cannot feel it. Subsequently, the injury is not promptly addressed.
Peripheral neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease (PVD) are two of the main conditions that podiatrists help manage in diabetic foot care. In peripheral neuropathy, pain signals that are sent to the brain by way of nerves are disrupted. This may lead you to not even feel the cut or burn to your foot when it happens.
PVD disrupts blood flow to your feet. This can cause your feet to be lacking in certain nutrients and other substances carried by the blood that are associated with healing and nourishment. This means that proper healing will not take place as it normally would. Some other conditions may occur in diabetic feet, such as:
- Ingrown toenails
The conditions listed above tend to show up more often in patients with diabetes due to a lack of blood supply and nerve signals failing to travel to the brain. However, these issues are not specific to diabetes.
A good practice is to set aside time every day to inspect your feet for cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns. Call your podiatrist immediately if you notice a different appearance to your feet or if you see something new.
Are there other symptoms that peripheral neuropathy and PVD cause in the feet and lower legs?
Unmanaged peripheral neuropathy and PVD can lead to the symptoms below. Checking for these regularly is a crucial part of diabetic foot care in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
- Tingling and numbness in the feet
- Pain and weakness in the calf, at rest or with exercise
- Cold sensations and inability to warm up your feet
- Hair loss on the legs and feet
- Abnormally dry skin
- Gangrene (tissue death)
- Amputation may be necessary if any of the above conditions are left untreated.
Receive diabetic foot care in in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, FL with Dr. Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel from Emerald Cost Podiatry. Call for more information at (850) 862-4119 for the office in Fort Walton Beach, FL, and (850) 682-6522 for the office in Crestview, FL.