One of the main initial signs that you may be developing diabetes is a condition called peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve damage related to high blood sugar levels. This nerve injury often causes a partial or total lack of sensation in the feet which can make it difficult or impossible to sense when an injury or infection occurs. This situation can quickly escalate to a foot ulcer that may lead to infection or even amputation.
Some of the symptoms of nerve damage in the feet include the following:
1) Numbness, tingling or burning sensation—These symptoms and possible shooting pain are felt, especially in the feet, ankles, and hands.
2) Muscle weakening—Muscles in the feet and ankles can become weak.
3) Decreased balance and coordination—Problems with balance and walking may require specially made diabetic shoes and orthotic inserts.
4) You can’t tell if the water is too hot—Since this can result in scalding, it’s very important to make sure showers and baths are not too hot.
Treatment for diabetes includes decreasing your blood sugar levels through proper diet and exercise and protecting your feet from injury with supportive diabetic shoes. Custom orthotic inserts will help provide ample padding to avoid cuts and infections. A daily foot inspection should be performed to catch problems before they worsen.
Get help from a podiatrist
Patients with diabetes require treatment from their foot doctor on a regular basis. We highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists at Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM in Valley Stream, NY. Our foot doctors have access to modern technologies to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. Dr. Shapiro and Dr. Barkin can assist you with common issues including heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, and nail fungus. Call our Long Island office at (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!