Diabetes often causes foot problems. This is because diabetes can affect the blood supply, which causes your feet to heal at a slower rate. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage, which means that you could lose some feeling in your feet. These issues may be avoided if you use a consistent foot care routine and respond quickly when a problem occurs. If you have diabetes, you should have your feet checked regularly by a diabetic podiatrist. They can identify any issues early on and help to prevent any complications.

Nerve damage

If your blood glucose levels are not controlled properly, the nerves in your feet can become damaged. Symptoms of nerve damage include numbness, cold legs, burning pains in your feet and legs and tingling feet. These symptoms can lead to a loss of feeling in your feet. This means that your feet may become injured without you realising it. If your foot is injured and not treated promptly, this can lead to an ulcer. Ulcers can enter the bone and cause a bone infection. You should see a diabetic podiatrist or doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

Blood supply

If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, this can result in a decreased supply of blood to your feet. This increases your risk of infection if your feet receive an injury that breaks your skin. Symptoms of weak blood supply include cold feet, reddish-blue feet, pain in the feet, cramping in the legs and cuts which take a long time to heal. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a diabetic podiatrist or doctor.

Increased risk

If your feet have nerve damage or poor blood supply or if you have had an ulcer on your foot in the past, your feet should be checked even more regularly by a diabetic podiatrist or doctor. Factors such as calluses, unusual toe shapes or claw toenails increase the risk of developing nerve damage or weak blood supply, so you should also have your feet checked more regularly if you have any of these.

If you have both nerve damage and differently shaped feet, your risk of developing ulcers, corns and calluses become increased. This is due to a greater level of pressure being applied to some areas of the feet than others. If you have corns or calluses, you should see a diabetic podiatrist. If these are not removed, they can lead to ulcers and infection.