Diabetes can affect the feet in a number of ways. The Podiatry Department at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), explains how.
Diabetes and high blood sugar levels can affect the feet in various ways. Over time, it can cause damage to:
Blood vessels causing Peripheral Vascular Disease
Nerves causing Neuropathy
Together, these conditions increase the risk of
Peripheral Vascular Disease
High blood sugar levels cause blood vessels to narrow, reducing blood supply to the feet and legs. This causes the feet to be deprived of oxygen and nutrients, and makes it harder for any wounds to heal.
50% of people with diabetes will develop neuropathy that can affect their feet in various ways such as:
Loss of foot sensation
How do diabetes foot wounds form?
Most diabetes foot wounds start off with the formation of hard skin
Hard skin usually forms at pressure points on the foot
This hard skin may go unnoticed by people with poor foot sensation
Over time, hard skin left untreated may cause a wound
Wounds can easily get infected
Poor blood supply can slow wound healing
Early diagnosis and treatment of hard skin and wounds reduces the risk of complications (including amputations)
More articles on diabetes foot care:
Click the link to learn about the
10 steps to healthy feet.
Click the link for
tips to avoid diabetes foot complications.
Click the link to find out
what to do during a diabetes foot emergency.