What is it?
Diabetes is a disease that develops from high blood glucose levels which can cause damage to the nerve systems in your body by stopping important messages getting to and from your brain. The nerves most likely to be affected are the longest ones – those that reach all the way down to your legs and feet. This nerve damage is sometimes called neuropathy.
High blood glucose levels can also damage your blood vessels and thereby circulation to your feet and legs, due to less blood getting to your skin, muscles and tissues.
Is it serious?
Any injury or hard skin has the potential to develop into something more serious if you have diabetes. When the skin is damaged, it may not heal so easily and sometimes this can cause an ulcer to form on your foot. Additionally, if you have lost feeling in your feet then it is possible that you may unknowingly damage your feet. You may stand on sharp objects like a nail, piercing the skin even down to the bone without realising it. If not noticed and not treated appropriately this can have potentially serious consequences and could lead to an amputation. Such an outcome is less likely if you seek expert advice from your multidisciplinary foot care team.
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Article courtesy of The College of Podiatry website.