Over time, diabetes can damage nerves, especially those in the legs and feet. This is known as diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic neuropathy can cause various symptoms:
Since diabetic neuropathy leads to a partial or total loss of sensitivity, especially in the feet, diabetics tend not to perceive pain, temperature variations, and wounds as well as other people. This means that cuts and sores may go unnoticed.
Blood circulation may also be less efficient in those with diabetes, which can impede healing. As a result, small wounds can quickly become infected and difficult to treat.
Since feet are particularly susceptible to small cuts and sores, which can go unnoticed in people suffering from neuropathy, and given that diabetes slows the healing process, it is all the more important to pay special attention to your feet if you are diabetic!
While there is no treatment for diabetic neuropathy, it is possible to delay or slow its onset by treating diabetes properly. This can be done by sticking to your treatment to keep your blood sugar levels within the target range and by adopting a healthy lifestyle:
It is crucial that you examine your feet daily to quickly detect any cuts and sores and avoid any wounds from worsening. Here are a few tips:
If you have a sore on your foot, clean the wound with water and gentle soap once or twice daily. Apply antibiotic ointment and a dry bandage. Keep an eye out for signs of infection like swelling and redness, or any discharge or unpleasant odour from the wound. If any of these symptoms appear, consult your doctor or podiatrist immediately.
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The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.