Would you be surprised to learn that diabetes is extremely damaging to your feet? High blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels, which makes the feet especially vulnerable to two things: numbness and slow healing.
When your feet are numb, it’s much harder for you to detect a problem such as a cut or a scrape. That’s a real problem for diabetics when they also have blood vessel damage. Cuts and scrapes can be very slow to heal because blood flow to the feet is limited. Living with diabetes means living with the real possibility of dangerous infections and lower limb amputations.
Are you at risk?
From a podiatrist’s perspective – and indeed, the perspective of doctors everywhere – diabetes is a disease that you want to avoid getting. One way to do that is to understand the risk factors. What are the chances that you’ll develop diabetes? Your chances are higher if you:
- have a family history of diabetes
- have high blood pressure
- are over the age of 45
- aren’t active
- have a high body mass index (BMI)
- have prediabetes (a precursor to diabetes)
If you have any of these risk factors, ask your primary care doctor about getting screened for diabetes. Screening involves a simple blood test to measure the amount of glucose in your blood. Tens of millions of Americans have high blood sugar and don’t know it. So, in terms of your overall health and your foot health, it’s well worth your time to consider your risk and to have a conversation with your doctor.
Expert podiatrists Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey of Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland hope that our patients avoid getting diabetes and the foot problems that go along with it. However, we’re here in Solon, Ohio, to provide diabetic foot care for anyone who needs it in Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit, and Geauga counties. We recommend that diabetics visit us at least once a year for a checkup. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or request an appointment online.