Diabetes and the feet. It is never too early to protect your feet. Diabetes can cause a variety of problems with the feet and it's important to be assertive, involved and take a preventative approach to foot care.
Nerve Damage. High blood sugar can damage the nerves that send messages to your legs and feet. Damage to these nerves can cause shooting pains, burning or tingling (pins and needles), and a loss of feeling. A loss of protective sensation means that you may have trouble feeling pain, pressure, heat or cold. It is estimated that more than 50 percent of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage, called Diabetic Neuropathy, in the legs and feet, and not all have symptoms. Not everyone has the same symptoms and neuropathy can only be diagnosed by your doctor.
Poor Blood Flow. High blood sugar can also cause the arteries that carry blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the legs and feet to harden and narrow. Damage to these arteries reduces blood flow to the legs and feet and can cause leg pain. Poor blood flow can make it hard for a sore or infection to heal. The medical name for this disorder is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), and it is estimated that 8-12 million older adults in the United States have PAD.
This is only general information and not meant for the diagnosis, prevention, mitigation, or treatment of any medical condition. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all halth concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.