We generally tell diabetic patients they should schedule diabetic foot evaluations with us on regular intervals to prevent small problems from becoming much bigger problems. It really is important.
What is Diabetes?
What are causes and symptoms of Diabetes foot issues?
The two major types of Diabetes are called Type I and Type II.
In patients with Type I Diabetes (also called Insulin Dependent Diabetes), the pancreas either does not produce insulin at all or does not produce enough of it. In patients with Type II Diabetes (also called Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes), the pancreas is able to make insulin but the cells do not respond to it normally. Type II Diabetes is the most common type and is often associated with obesity. It is also becoming more common in children. In both types, the result is too much glucose circulating in the blood (called hyperglycemia) which can lead to numerous complications, some of which may be limb- or life-threatening. It can lead to nerve damage, kidney disease, vascular disease, blindness, ulcerations, infections, amputations, and ultimately death.
The nerve damage associated with diabetes, called diabetic neuropathy, can especially affect the feet. With damaged nerves in the legs or feet, a patient might not feel cold, heat, pain, or any cuts and sores. Without intact touch sensation, wounds can develop, progress and become infected. Because diabetes also can decrease blood flow to the foot, open wounds and infections may become difficult to resolve.
Nerve damage can also prevent leg and foot muscles from working properly, which can result in foot deformity and improper foot function.
While diabetes can be a serious and potentially life-threatening illness, it is manageable. Studies have found that diabetic patients who maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep their blood sugars under tight control have a lifespan that is virtually the same as a healthy non-diabetic patient.
At Anchorage Foot & Ankle Clinic, we can help you manage a wide range of diabetes-related foot conditions. Our Anodyne Diabetic Shoe® collection offers shoes designed and constructed to not only protect your feet, but to do so in style. Sole Soothers, our in-office medical supply store, offers a wide variety of products to try to help patients with diabetes keep their feet healthy and intact.