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Have diabetes? Here's why your feet need extra care and attention

by , 22 November 2013

Diabetes isn't called a 21st century disease for nothing. Recent estimates suggest that diabetes cases have hit a record 382 million worldwide. That number is expected to soar to 592 million by 2035.The chronic condition also comes with many health complications. One of these complications relates to your feet. Read on to find out why you're advised to take extra care of your feet as a diabetic…

According to MyFOX8.com, about 60% to 70% of diabetics have some form of nerve damage, also known as neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders caused by diabetes.

It’s for this reason that you should get into the habit of checking your feet daily if you suffer from diabetes. You’re at a greater risk of developing nerve damage in that area.

Here’s what to look for when checking your feet if you suffer from diabetes

In the report by MyFOX8.com, Dr Claire Sanger says that proper circulation, flexibility, pain and sensation are all important factors you should check for when examining foot health.
 

  • Circulation. Look at the colour of your toes. Do your nails have a normal colour or are they leaning toward red, white, purple or blue? According to WebMD, Raynaud’s disease can cause your toes to turn white, then bluish, and then redden again and return to their natural tone. The cause is a sudden narrowing of the arteries, called vasospasms. Raynaud’s may also be related to rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s disease, or thyroid problems.
  • Flexibility. How flexible are your toes? How flexible are your ankles? If you’re experiencing strain when moving these joints, begin flexibility exercises to improve function.
  • Pain. A healthy foot doesn’t produce any pain.
  • Sensation. When touching the top, bottom and both sides of your feet, the sensation should feel equal in all quadrants.
  • Keep in mind that with damaged nerves, you might not feel pain, heat or cold in your legs and feet. A sore or cut on your foot may get worse because you don’t know it’s there.


Dr Sanger says that’s why “it’s important for patients with diabetes-related nerve damage to also frequently inspect their feet and toes for cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, calluses or other problems.”

It’s advisable you go for a comprehensive foot exam every year to check for any neuropathies.

If you don’t suffer from diabetes, don’t think feet health isn’t important for you. Here are five things your feet reveal about your health.

 

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