Patients with diabetes are unable to regulate glucose levels properly, and high levels of glucose in the blood for long periods of time can lead to nerve damage and reduced blood flow. These problems can have particularly severe effects on the feet.
Two of the most common conditions that affect people with diabetes are diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic neuropathy results from damaged nerves in the legs and feet and is characterized by a lack of feeling in these areas. This can be dangerous for someone with diabetes because he or she may not feel a cut or sore on the foot, which can lead to further complications. Peripheral vascular disease is a condition in which blood does not flow properly to the arms and legs. Both of these conditions can slow recovery time for foot injuries, as well as cause foot ulcers, which occur in 10% of those with diabetes.
Foot woes that commonly afflict the general population can have especially severe consequences for patients with diabetes. Common foot ailments such as ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, blisters, and bunions are sometimes genetic, but are often preventable. If these issues are not addressed, patients with diabetes often face more severe medical complications. If a person with diabetes has nerve damage or poor circulation in the feet and legs, he or she must pay extra attention to those areas of the body.
About the Author:
As a practicing physician and CEO of the Saddle Brook Surgicenter, Inc., in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, Dr. Ronald Sollitto has treated leg and foot problems in many patients with diabetes. Dr. Sollitto has published multiple articles on treating the foot problems of patients with diabetes, including a three-part series on foot amputations, which was chosen as the best publication in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery in 1990.