Diabetes and Podiatry: Why Foot Care Management is Critical in Keeping Your Feet Healthy

For individuals diagnosed with diabetes, the body’s inability to use and manufacture insulin can result in a whole host of problems for one’s eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, and feet. While diabetes does not have a cure, it can be successfully managed with exercise, healthy nutrition, and proper medical care. The podiatrist or foot doctor, plays a key role in helping diabetics decrease their risk for foot-related complications like infections, ulcers, and calluses. Let’s take a look at why foot care management and podiatry is critical for diabetics.

The Link Between Diabetes & Foot Infections

Those with diabetes have a higher risk of developing peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is when the peripheral arteries that provide blood flow to the legs, feet, arms, stomach, and head, narrow. This is caused by the accumulation of fatty deposits along the inner linings of the artery walls. If left unchecked, this can lead to severe foot pain, cold feet, slow wound healing, and in severe cases leg amputation from gangrene [1]. However, PAD is not the only condition that can cause foot-related problems, as diabetics are also more likely to get infections from these 4 things.

l Nerve Damage & Skin: because diabetes often causes damage to the nerves in one’s feet, the skin can become extremely dry. This is because the nerves that exist outside of the brain and spinal column are responsible for supplying your organs, skin, and muscles with the blood, nutrients, and moisture that they need [2]. Many diabetics will experience cracking skin in their feet, which can lead to infections if improperly managed.