Diabetes: Your Feet’s Natural Predator

Diabetes can strike anyone at any time. Even though poor health is a common trigger, the active and fit are not immune, as actress Halle Berry discovered when she was diagnosed in her early twenties. Despite being healthy, she became very sick and even slipped into a coma before being diagnosed and treated for the disease. The fluctuating blood sugar levels that diabetes causes, whether type 1 or type 2, wreak havoc on your body’s organs and tissues—including your feet.

High blood sugar damages nerves, and those in the feet are among the first to feel the effects. The nerve damage results in numb spots, tingling, and burning sensations. You may not feel future injuries as a result. Blood flow to the feet is also decreased, making it much harder for your body to heal any problems. Otherwise small conditions, like blisters or cracks in calluses, become slow-healing and more likely to deteriorate into an ulcer. Bacteria that cause infections can slip in through these wounds are also much more formidable. Without immediate treatment, the infection can get out of hand and even lead to amputation of the lower limb.

Diabetes doesn’t have to spell disaster for your feet, though. Like Halle Berry and other celebrities with the disease, including Tom Hanks and Larry King, you can save your feet with a little care and proactive treatment. Remember to inspect your feet every day for those small changes or injuries, and don’t ignore any problems that arise. Wear supportive shoes that protect and cushion your feet. Also, managing your blood sugar level is extremely important. Work with all the experts involved in your care—including the team here at Sierra Foot & Ankle—to develop a plan to keep your health stable and your sugar under control.

If you have diabetes, know you are not alone in this and that it doesn’t have to limit your quality of life. Part of managing it does mean focusing on great foot health. Never ignore a visible problem, any changes, or noticeable pain in your lower limbs. Instead, have it checked right away by the specialists who care at Sierra Foot & Ankle. Call (775) 783-8037 or visit the website contact page for more information or an appointment.

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