Helping Seniors Live Healthier Lives

Diabetes And Your Podiatrist

In the United States, 29.1 million people have diabetes. If you have the condition, getting early and consistent medical treatment is vitally important. One way to stay healthy is to regularly consult a podiatrist. Taking care of your feet can prolong your life.


Your podiatrist may be the first person to notice symptoms of diabetes. If you have swelling in your feet or ankles, leg pain, slow-healing sores, cracks around the heel, and foot numbness, you may have diabetes. Since a podiatrist is an expert in foot conditions, they are especially adept at identifying diabetes.

Foot Damage

Diabetes can cause neuropathy or nerve damage that causes you to lose feeling in your feet. As a result, you can injure your feet without realizing it. Even a blister can become a problem because diabetes affects your circulation, leading to infection. Something small can become an open ulcer that is resistant to healing. In the worst cases, the infection can rage out of control and lead to amputation of a limb.  In some cases, these infections are life-threatening. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, approximately 14 to 24 percent of diabetics with a foot ulcer will end up losing a lower limb. Some diabetics will develop Charcot foot, deformities caused by walking on damaged feet. 


If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, schedule regular checkups with your podiatrist. They can catch problems before they become serious. If you develop any foot wounds, you should immediately consult with your doctor. You can also take preventative measures on your own. You should inspect your feet and toes every day for toenail changes, cuts, bruises, or other injuries. You should also wash and dry them carefully, using talcum powder to absorb excess moisture. Always wear thick socks with no seams that can irritate your skin. In addition, you should always cut your toenails straight across to help prevent ingrown toenails and possible infection.

If you are diabetic, foot care is extremely important. Injuries that are not a concern for those without the condition can quickly become serious issues for you. Consulting with a podiatrist, such as Advanced Foot & Ankle Center of Palatine, can benefit you in several ways. They can diagnose your condition and also monitor it so that you do not develop infections or other ailments of the feet. Regular checkups combined with conscientious home care can keep you from developing foot ulcers, which sometimes lead to amputation. Diabetes is a serious condition that can be managed with the right medical care.