• Diabetic Nerve Damage: Diabetes damages nerves in all people. Many diabetics are not aware nerves are damaged until they develop a blister, bruise, wound or ulceration on the foot. Sometimes the feeling of numbness, pins, needles, or pain is perceived. Sometimes balance in walking seems off. Many times there is no warning.
  • Diabetic Vascular Damage: Diabetes always damages the walls of blood vessels in the feet and legs. Most Diabetics are unaware they have circulation damage, also called peripheral vascular disease or PAD, until it is too late, and a blister, bruise, wound, ulceration or infection has developed.
  • Diabetic Tendon and Ligament Damage: Diabetes damages and weakens all connective tissues in feet, legs, and joints. The high glucose levels are absorbed by these structures weakening them and predisposing them to injury, tears, or ruptures. When these structures fail the bones in the feet can fracture. The foot will collapse, and ulcers and/or infections follow. This condition is called Charcot Foot.
  • Diabetic Immune System Damage: Diabetes weakens the immune system and lessens its ability to fight infection. All people with increased blood sugar levels will have a decreased immune response and are much more likely to develop infection with, or without a cut or wound.
  • Diabetes and Surgery: People with diabetes face an increased risk of infection and other complications when undergoing surgery. Sometimes surgery is necessary on the diabetic foot to treat or prevent skin or bone ulcers. Sometimes surgery of the foot is necessary and appropriate even with the increased risk it carries but extreme care is needed in the decision making process.
  • Diabetic Precautions: Inspect skin at least once daily for color changes, including redness, blue coloration, or black spots. Callus, corns, thickening of the skin should be closely monitored. Bone prominences, bunions, hammertoes, metatarsals, and heels are frequent problem locations. Swelling, temperature changes either too hot or too cold are also warning signs. Wear supportive shoe gear, avoid wearing shoes, socks or bandages with bumps or folds that cause pressure on the feet. Avoid walking barefoot. Keep feet away from extremes of hot or cold especially bath water and heaters.
  • Report any perceived problems immediately because seemingly minor problems turn into major problems in diabetic feet within hours.

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