It’s not uncommon for foot complications to develop from diabetes. In fact, nearly half of those with diabetes will experience some form of nerve damage (neuropathy), most often affecting the legs and feet. Neuropathy can cause discomfort and loss of feeling in the toes, feet, and lower legs, sometimes resulting in serious injury or infection.
If you are living with diabetes, there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of foot problems, including:
Though nerve damage can happen to anyone with diabetes, those who have had it for many years are more vulnerable. To help prevent neuropathy, get at least 10 to 20 minutes of exercise every day and follow a healthy meal plan1. Check your feet daily and get early treatment as soon as you notice a problem. Early treatment reduces the risk of more serious foot problems developing. Taking a proactive approach now can help you avoid health complications later in life.
Beyond tingling sensations, pain, and numbness, diabetes can affect the feet in other ways. You may experience any of the following:
In extreme cases, people with diabetes may need to undergo amputation2. When foot ulcers or infections become severe, the removal of the toe, foot or leg can be necessary. Proper foot care is critical to avoiding such serious problems.
The good news is there are simple steps that you can take to keep your feet healthy. Make sure to do the following:
Have your physician or care team check your feet during each visit. They can diagnose any serious problems and remove potentially dangerous calluses or corns. If you suspect that you have problems with your legs or feet, or if you experience pain or numbness, contact your doctor right away. Staying on top of your condition can help you avoid major health problems.