Conditions that you should be familiar with that are associated with Diabetes:
Neuropathy: this is the term used to describe the nerve damage that
can occur with Diabetes. It is associated and more common in individuals
who do not have good control of their blood sugars. The sugars in the
body cannot be broken down and start to deposit on nerves. This causes
numbness and tingling in your toes and sometimes fingertips. This can be
painful or can go unnoticed. This is dangerous because you can develop
ulcerations or even break bones without realizing it. There are medications
available to make the neuropathy, if painful, more comfortable, but they do
not stop the progression or cure the nerve damage.
Charcot Osteoarthropathy: a condition caused by profound loss of
sensation often associated with low bone mineral density (osteoporosis)
caused by increased blood flow to the bones. Charcot is fracturing and
dislocation of the bones of the foot and ankle. You will notice increased
warmth, sometimes pain, swelling, and deformity of your foot or ankle if
the condition is present. Report to a foot an immediately to your doctor
if you have these symptoms.
Peripheral Vascular Disease: Diabetics can sometimes have compromised
blood flow to their foot and ankles. This is commonly caused by blockage
of arteries within the leg leading to the foot. Decreased blood flow should
be identified as soon as possible to prevent tissue damage and loss. Signs
of decreased blood flow are cramping of the leg muscles during activity,
The feeling of cold feet, discoloration of skin, need to hang legs down in order
for pain to decrease. If you experience any of these symptoms please
report it to a podiatrist or your family doctor.
Ulceration and Infection: When an ulceration (opening of the skin) occurs
in a diabetic it is very important to take control of the situation immediately.
A diabetic is more prone to developing infection both in bone and soft tissue.
It may also take a longer period of time to heal the skin and underlying tissues.
Osteomyelitis: This is an infection of the bone. This is very serious and can
spread quickly from bone to bone. It is often caused by a break in the skin that
has led to the spread of an infection to the bone. Surgery or antibiotics through
IVs are often necessary to eliminate the infection.