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Diabetes and Your Feet

Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes? Has it been some time since you received the news? Either way, you have probably heard multiple times the importance of “proper glycemic control” – keeping your sugars in control. I wonder did you also hear why? Why is it important?

Why is sugar control important?

The reason why this is important stems from what happens to the small nerves and small blood vessels when there is high levels of sugar for an extended period of time. Glucose in the blood can lead to deposits in the small vessels and on the small nerves leading to damage of these structures

What happens during the first visit?

From the podiatrist’s perspective, diabetes education is a major part of our first visit and subsequent visits with a patient that gets referred to us for a comprehensive diabetic foot exam. During this first visit, the podiatrist will check your feet as they do any other patient, checking the condition of the skin and nails, testing muscle strength, the sensation of the feet, and also the pulses. With diabetics, the podiatrist takes special note of the pulses and sensation of the feet due to the ill effects that high blood sugars can have on the vascular and nervous systems.

What can I expect with my feet as a diabetic?

There is no real simple answer for this question because this depends on the way you take care of your health, and the other “co-mordbidities,” or co-existing health problems that you have. One thing is for certain, high sugar levels and poor control has been shown to cause complications, including ulceration, neuropathy and decreased blood flow. The good news remains the same, if you do your part, you’ll be better off by seeking treatment from a podiatrist!