People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, often developing from a combination of poor circulation and nerve damage. A poor circulation can delay healing and increase your risks of infection. If left untreated, minor foot injuries can result in ulceration and even 15 times increased risk of having limb amputated. Damage to the nerves in the legs and feet diminishes skin sensation, making it difficult to detect or notice pain or temperature changes. A minor sore or scrape on your foot may get infected simply because you don’t know it is there.
The three major symptoms of diabetes are:
Polyuria (The need to urinate frequently).
Polydipsia (Increased thirst & fluid intake).
Polyphagia (Increased appetite).
In the case of type 1 diabetes, these symptoms can develop quickly. However, when it comes to type 2 diabetes, symptoms may be far subtler and develop slower.
Causes of Diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes:
Autoimmune disease – The body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Genetic – A positive family history is much more common for type 2 diabetes.
Environmental factors – viral infections.
Gender – Slightly more common in men than in women.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Genetic links – tends to run in families
Risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include the following:
High blood pressure.
High blood triglyceride (fat) levels.
Gestational diabetes or giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds.
High alcohol intake.
Obesity or being overweight.
Gestational diabetes – high blood sugar that starts or is first diagnosed during pregnancy.
Aging (Increasing age) – Risk begins to rise significantly at about age 45 years, and rises considerably after age 65 years.
The podiatrist is in a position to give you appropriate advice and treatment. Your foot is checked so as to assess the risk of developing complications, for example a foot ulcer. If necessary you may be referred on to a Vascular Surgeon.