Listen to your Feet, Check for Diabetes
Strange sensations can occur in the feet of those with diabetes
Strange sensations can occur in the feet of those with diabetes, such as:
- burning of the feet
- tingling or pins and needles
- numbness or “walking on cotton” feeling
It is important to listen to your feet as these are all signs of diabetic neuropathy. The nerves of the person with diabetes can be damaged due to constant exposure to elevated blood sugars. This neuropathy can lead to
- poor quality of life due to the constant pain
- dry skin and cracks in the feet
- easy damage to feet due to lack of feeling
- frequent risk of wounds and ulcers
- imbalance and difficulty walking
- inability to keep slippers on
- non-healing wounds and amputation of toes and feet
Neuropathy can also affect other parts of the body in a diabetic such as the heart, the digestive system, the brain, and the penis. It leads to giddiness, poor digestion and stomach bloating and alternating diarrhea and constipation, fast and uncontrolled heart rates and difficulty maintaining erections.
What can be done? Control of blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible leads to prevention of neuropathy. Once it occurs, maintaining good blood sugar levels remain the only way to control neuropathy. Then there are medicines to reduce the pain and burning sensations. Good foot cleanliness and care, with appropriate footwear remains the cornerstone of neuropathy treatment.
Talk to your doctor about getting a neuropathy test done for your feet. If you have hard thickness on the soles of your feet (callus) or cracks have your feet checked at our specialized diabetic foot care clinic. Talk to our nurses/doctors about getting special diabetes sandals and shoes, which are available at the clinic.
Despite all efforts diabetic neuropathy remains one of the most difficult complications to control and treat. So always prevention is better with good blood sugar control.