DIABETES AND YOUR FEET
People with diabetes are often at risk for developing problems affecting their feet and legs. Therefore, it is imperative that patients with diabetes see a podiatrist for a thorough foot evaluation. There are several major reasons why diabetic patients can develop foot problems:
1) Some patients with diabetes mellitus (or DM) develop peripheral neuropathy, which is a condition where the nerves in the feet do not function properly. Consequently, people can have numbness that can result in their inability to feel a callus or wound on their foot. This can lead to an infection.
2) Those with diabetes are at higher risk for developing circulation problems, which can lead to difficulty with healing a sore or wound once it has occurred. The longer that a wound, sore, or ulcer is open, the more likely it is that an infection could occur.
3) People with diabetes are often more susceptible to infection than those without diabetes, and it is often more difficult for someone with DM to fight an infection once it has occurred. Those with diabetes are also prone to developing dry skin, which can crack or bleed and thus create a situation where infection can occur.
People with diabetes sometimes relate having a friend or relative who had a major foot problem that led to an amputation, and patients express their fear that this could happen to them. It’s important for patients to learn their individual risk factors for diabetic foot complications, along with ways that we can prevent these things from occurring. Also know that for diabetics, the American Diabetes Association recommends that “your health care provider should perform a complete foot exam at least annually—more often if you have foot problems.”
Dr. Stephanie Martin Carollo has extensive experience in caring for patients with diabetes that began during her training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s diabetic foot care clinic. Treating patients with diabetes and helping to prevent complications that can affect their feet is a real passion of Dr. Stephanie Carollo’s. Please contact our office at 586-298-1585 to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive diabetic foot evaluation, so that we can help to make sure that your feet are as healthy as possible! After all, your feet are designed to serve you for your entire life!