Diabetic foot care is never something that should be ignored or delayed – even when your feet feel in good or better health.
The effects of diabetes on the body tend to creep in overtime, and the feet can be especially vulnerable to these complications. Peripheral neuropathy, more simply known as nerve damage, is one of these common effects and can create very dangerous situations if left unchecked.
While Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates is well-equipped to provide fast and comprehensive wound care, we do our patients a much better service by helping them lower their chances of wounds developing or growing serious to begin with. That begins by fully understanding where the risks of improper diabetic foot care lie.
How Can Diabetes Affect My Nerves? What Are the Risks?
Diabetes can affect nerve health in several different ways. Among these are the ability for high blood sugar levels to damage nerves directly and reducing blood flow that the nerves depend on to survive and function properly.
As nerves become damaged, initial symptoms often involve tingling and pain. Over time, however, the nerves can be damaged to the point where little to no sensation can be felt at all in the feet.
Constricted blood flow (often through peripheral artery disease, or PAD), can also impede the body’s ability to heal from injuries and wounds. It can reach a point that a wound will not heal without medical attention.
When all these effects combine, it can lead to devastating problems. Injuries to feet can happen and go unnoticed, and the body can fail to heal them quickly. This leaves the door wide open for even small cuts to turn into large, deep ulcers, and for infections to occur. The very structure of the foot can break down and the risk of needing amputation runs higher.
We always want to avoid reaching such high-risk situations whenever possible. And with proper care, we can.