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How Does Diabetes Impact Your Feet?

If you have diabetes, your condition can impact your body and health in multiple ways. As a result of blood sugar (glucose) imbalances due to diabetes, your arteries can suffer from diabetic vascular disease.

When your limbs and extremities don’t get enough blood delivered through your vascular system, serious problems result. If you have diabetes, your feet are particularly at risk. Diabetes-related damage can interfere with your ability to feel pain, so you might not realize a problem is serious in time to prevent complications.

When you understand the potential negative effects of diabetes on your feet, you can take steps to protect them, saving your mobility and quality of life. At the Vascular Institute of New York, Dr. Enrico Ascher provides ongoing support to new and existing patients who have been diagnosed with diabetic vascular disease from offices in the Borough Park, Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, New York.

Diabetes, your vascular system, and your feet

Inside your abdomen, your pancreas produces a substance called insulin that helps your body digest and use glucose from foods you eat and beverages you drink. Diabetes can occur due to a lack of insulin in your body, or because your body loses the ability to use insulin effectively.

For patients living with diabetes, keeping blood sugar under control tends to be a struggle. When your blood sugar gets too high, your arteries sustain damage and become hardened, restricting the flow of blood throughout your system. The areas most often affected by diabetic vascular disease are the smaller arteries of your feet, toes, fingers, kidneys, and eyes.

Vascular problems related to diabetes can present with various symptoms, including loss of feeling in your hands or feet, leg pain when walking, high blood pressure, swelling of your extremities, ulcers or sores on your feet, or sudden weight gain.

Preventing diabetes-related foot problems

When your diabetes-related vascular issues go untreated, your feet can sustain severe damage. Almost 50% of patients with diabetes develop some type of diabetes-related nerve damage as a result of high blood sugar levels.

If your feet suffer from nerve damage and can’t register pain, you might not realize it when you sustain scratches, cuts, or injuries, leading to dangerous infections. You could also experience uncomfortable nerve-damage related sensations in your feet, including pain, numbness, and tingling. You might lose your ability to feel heat and cold in your extremities.

If you have diabetes, and develop symptoms such as pain in your legs during physical activity, loss of sensation, changes in your foot shape, color, or temperature, or have an ulcer or infected corn that won’t heal, get in touch with a medical professional right away.

In order to protect your feet and other extremities from complications related to diabetes, get your blood sugar levels under control, and keep your blood sugar within a healthy range as much as possible. Dr. Ascher can help you understand how to manage your blood sugar through diet and lifestyle changes.

If you develop diabetes-related nerve damage, it’s important to regularly check your feet and other extremities for signs of injury. Don’t go barefoot, and do everything possible to prevent your feet from suffering from cuts, blisters, and other wounds.

With the right support, you can prevent serious diabetes-related foot complications. Get in touch with Dr. Ascher at the Vascular Institute of New York today. You can schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone, or use the online tool to book now.

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