If you have diabetes, you should make sure to have your feet checked by a qualified podiatrist at every health care visit. Do not wait for any symptoms to arise. This will help in the early identification of any problem that if left untreated or unmanaged may lead to severe conditions like ulcerations or even amputation. When a podiatrist is evaluating your feet, he or she will be assessing your risk for the following conditions.
If you experience some tingling, numbness, burning or a feeling of bugs crawling on your skin, particularly at night, you might be having peripheral sensory neuropathy.
Neuropathy will cause structural changes in your foot, coupled with muscle-tendon imbalances; it will bring about musculoskeletal symptoms. You may notice bunions, flatfoot, high-arched foot or hammertoes. These may cause focal irritation of your foot in a shoe. Your Achilles tendon will also have reduced elasticity, limiting your ankle dorsiflexion and resulting in increasing in feet pressure.
Dermatological conditions can also result from high mechanical pressure on the foot, and shearing of the skin will lead to hyperkeratotic lesions (calluses) and corns. They can cause blisters and eventually ulceration, particularly for people with neuropathy.
If you have diabetes and have neuropathy, you are at risk for foot ulceration. Additionally, if your feet are deformed, the risk for ulceration is higher. Other factors that can put you at higher risk levels of ulceration and amputation include having diabetes for an extended period, persistent blood glucose level elevation and renal or cardiac complications. Males are also more prone to these risks than females.
This is a type of arthropathy that causes the weakening and fracturing of foot bones, leading to deformed feet. It is painless and can go for quite some time before getting noticed. If left untreated, it can lead to amputation.
Individuals suffering from neuropathy are at a higher risk of charcot foot. If you find that your shoes no longer fit, have made modifications to your shoes to accommodate your foot changes, have unilateral swellings or have frequent limps, you might be suffering from charcot foot.
These are diseases that affect blood vessels, such as peripheral artery disease. If you experience cramping around your calf muscles, which requires you to rest, you may be having intermittent claudication. Claudication arises when there is not sufficient blood supply to the area below the knee. You should also be checked for cardiovascular risk factors, which when detected early can help prevent early mortality.
For more information, contact a local podiatrist.