Diabetes can cause complications that affect your feet, especially if your blood sugar is not under control. If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is a good idea to check your feet every day and tell your doctor if you have any problems with foot pain or unusual symptoms in your feet.
There are two ways that diabetes can damage your feet. First, diabetes can cause circulation problems to the extremities, and the feet are most affected by this poor blood flow. Not only does this result in your feet feeling numb or cold most of the time, but if you get any cuts or blisters on your feet, it will take much longer for them to heal. If circulation is really poor in a person with diabetes, there is a danger of infection of small sores or cuts that can lead to gangrene. This can be fatal if untreated, and amputation of the affected foot may be necessary.
Secondly, diabetes, especially poorly controlled diabetes, can cause damage to the nerves in your feet. This is called peripheral neuropathy or diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy can be felt as shooting or burning pain, pins and needles tingling or numbness in the toes and feet. A person with neuropathy in their feet may feel pain when they are walking or when even the lightest pressure is applied to their feet. If motor nerves are affected, muscle weakness can also result. In diabetics, nerve damage typically occurs first in the feet, but other parts of the body can be affected over time, especially if a person is having a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels.
For these reasons, it is extremely important for diabetics to be aware of their feet. Checking your feet daily for problems is essential. Managing your diabetes and taking your medication as directed is important to prevent your foot pain from getting worse. Other lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and exercising regularly, can help improve your circulation. If you are diabetic, it is recommended to wear diabetic socks that are better for your circulation in your feet and never walk around barefoot, even inside your house. Always wear athletic shoes that fit your feet properly and will not cause friction blisters. Have your doctor check your feet on a regular basis.