Do you feel thirsty all the time? Are you experiencing dry mouth, hunger, blurry vision, unintentional weight loss and slow healing of wounds? Chances are, you are suffering from diabetes. This is a type of health condition that prevents the body’s ability to process blood glucose or commonly known as blood sugar. Diabetes is a serious medical condition yet very common. In fact, approximately 10% of the US population are living with diabetes. People who are older, overweight, inactive, smoker and have a history of diabetes are most likely to develop it.

There are 2 types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile diabetes, occurs when the body cannot produce insulin. People suffering from type 1 diabetes are insulin-dependent.
  • Type 2 diabetes, or the most common type of diabetes, occurs when the body can produce insulin, but the cells in the body do not respond to it the way they should. 

 

Diabetes and foot problems

Having diabetes can expose you to several health complications but having foot problems is a common issue, especially if you have suffered from diabetes for a long period of time. So how does diabetes affect your feet?

  • Diabetic neuropathy

If you have been suffering from diabetes, you have a higher chance of suffering from nerve damage which can result in numbness in your feet. Nerve damage can cause you to not feel heat, cold or pain in your feet. When you lack sensation on your feet, it can increase your risk of cuts and sores. If you happen to have an infection on your feet and you didn’t notice or feel it because you are diabetic, it can develop to gangrene which may require amputation. Truth is, a huge percentage of amputation cases are due to diabetes.

  • Peripheral vascular disease

If you have diabetes, your body’s blood flow gets affected. Improper blood flow can expose your body to several health problems. Because your blood flow is abnormal, it causes changes in your blood vessels and arteries. Without good blood flow, you are at risk of pain, infection and wounds that seem to heal slowly. 

 

Is foot amputation inevitable?

While most amputation cases can be contributed to diabetes, it doesn’t mean that those suffering from diabetes should undergo it too. Proper management and foot care can decrease your chance of amputation. There are also ways you can prevent amputation from affecting you such as:

  • Having a healthy diet
  • Avoiding sugar in food
  • Reduce stress
  • Exercise daily for at least 30mins
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Check your blood sugar levels regularly
  • Take your medications as per your doctor’s prescription

Diabetes is a life-threatening disease and may also threaten your foot’s health, but with proper care and caution, you can lower the risk of diabetes affecting your feet. 

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