Diabetes and Your Feet – You Are What You Eat
If you are diabetic, it is very important to have your feet checked regularly. We look forward to seeing you at Coachella Valley Foot & Ankle!
Diabetic foot ulceration is related to having a condition called neuropathy.
Patients with diabetes do not have normal feeling in their feet. The nerves stop conducting electrical impulses correctly as a result of the abnormal sugar metabolism. Sensations in the foot begin to change and decrease over time.
Due to the neuropathy, light touch, deep pressure and most skin sensations cannot be adequately perceived. Any friction, rubbing, or pressure from a shoe will lead to an increased concentration of pressure on the foot. This causes skin breakdown and an ulcer develops.
The pressure and friction are normal but the inability to feel these sensations is abnormal.
The patient cannot make the fine-tuning and adjustments necessary to prevent an ulcer from forming. An ulcer is not caused by lack of circulation or by infection. The ulcers are usually associated with bone pressure and a bone prominence under the arch of the foot. These ulcers can become very large and must be treated.
If left untreated, the ulcer will lead to eventual bone infection and possibly amputation of the foot or leg.
Charcot disease can cause very significant bone deformities. As a result of neuropathy, the nerve supply to bones and joints is not normal.
From very minor trauma or prolonged walking, small areas of stress can build up in the bone or in a joint leading to a crack or a stress fracture. This is the same type of stress fracture that the athlete develops.
However, the patient with diabetes is unable to perceive the pain from the stress injury and walking is continued.
The stress crack in the bone now begins to get worse and develops into a fracture. The fracture also gets worse as more walking occurs on the injured foot or ankle.