Diabetes can affect your feet in many ways and for some people can lead to serious complications. One of the early changes that diabetics can notice is a loss of sensation in the feet. This can be very gradual at first and go unnoticed until it becomes more of a problem. This is known as peripheral neuropathy. On occasion the numbness can be accompanied by a burning feeling; this is called a painful neuropathy. These changes happen when the nerves in your feet are affected by the diabetes.
Diabetes can also cause other changes with your feet such as reduced blood flow which can reduce your ability to heal cuts and wounds and your ability to fight infections that may occur. Because of these issues it is very important to check your feet regularly for any scratches, cuts or blisters or any sore looking areas, especially if they don’t feel sore to you.
It is also important to get the circulation and nerve sensation in your feet checked on a regular basis (usually annual if no current problems). A Podiatrist is fully trained to assess diabetic feet and provide or advise on any treatment that may be needed. Having an annual assessment can determine the level of risk you may be at for complications developing and is therefore essential in long term diabetes management.