Don’t Ignore Diabetic Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. They can happen over time, when high blood sugar damages the nerves and blood vessels in the feet. The nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, can cause numbness, tingling, pain or a loss of feeling in the feet. It can also lead to serious foot problems, says Dr. Margaret Portela, of Union City Podiatry.
“If you can’t feel pain, you may not know when you have a cut, blister or open sore on your foot. A wound like that could get infected,” Portela says. “The infection may not heal well because the damaged blood vessels can cause poor blood flow in your feet.”
She recommends seeing a healthcare provider right away for any of the following problems: a cut, blister or bruise on the foot that doesn’t start to heal in a few days; red, warm or painful skin on the feet; a callus with dried blood inside; or a foot infection that turns black and smells bad. The best strategy is prevention—controlling blood sugar and caring for the feet every day.