As a person with diabetes, you have been warned repeatedly to keep your blood sugar under control, or you could end up with many other medical problems. Some of the complications you may not take too seriously involves your feet. Because your feet do not seem as serious an issue as your heart, you may feel you do not worry when you feel some tingles in your toes. However, if you fail to take care of your feet properly, you could very well end up with a gangrenous situation. You could lose one or more toes or even your whole foot. In addition, the situation could spread to other parts or organs in your body. Here are a few problems you may encounter and why you should see a podiatrist annually.
High levels of glucose in your blood will cause damage to the blood vessels. Your toes may feel cold inside when they are not cold to the touch, or you may feel tingling, like when your foot "falls asleep." Generally, this is the first step towards nerve damage. As soon as you notice your toes or feet tingling, it is time to see the podiatrist. While they are going to tell you that you need to get better control of your blood sugar, they can also provide treatments and/or medical supplies that will help alleviate further problems.
Ulcers and Sores
Diabetics may have a hard time healing. Even a simple cut may take weeks or longer to heal. The longer you have an open area of skin, the higher the chance of it becoming infected. This can lead to gangrene. A foot doctor will examine your feet for even a small cut and help you take care of it. They will provide medications and supplies to increase the healing process of any open wounds and will also provide things which will help prevent more sores.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to damaged nerves. This means you may not even feel if you have a cut or sore. It is also possible for the bones in your feet to become weak and break. If you are not constantly aware of your feet and do not have them checked by a doctor regularly, you risk deformities that will affect your mobility.
A podiatrist will work with you to keep everything in your feet healthy. They will teach you how to care for your feet in between visits.