Diabetes is a chronic disease causing high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Diabetes also weakens your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, which can, in turn, damage your nervous system. This damage can affect the ability to feel sensations in your feet.
Damage to your nervous system can affect your feet’s ability to produce sweat and other natural oils that keep the skin lubricated. Without proper lubrication, the skin, bones, and joints of the foot can become injured.
Sometimes, those with diabetes do not notice sores or injuries to their feet until it is too late. It is important to maintain proper foot health and seek treatment immediately when an injury is present.
Poorly fitting shoes are the number one cause of foot injury when it comes to diabetes. Red spots, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any persistent pain should be taken seriously, and properly fitting footwear (along with orthotics) should be worn.
You may also be at risk for nerve damage in the feet if your diabetes has been poorly managed. This may leave you with decreased feeling in the feet, putting you at higher risk of injury.
If left untreated or unmanaged, foot problems can lead to problems like losing a toe, foot, or leg.