How Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet?


Living with diabetes can take a toll on your whole body, from your head to your feet. Since November is National Diabetes Month, we’re taking the time to talk about how diabetes affects the health of your feet.

What is diabetes?

There are multiple types of diabetes, and each has its own causes and specifics. The common thread between diabetes types is the presence of excessive levels of glucose, or sugar, in the blood. Type 1 and 2 diabetes are chronic conditions. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and typically will disappear upon giving birth.

What’s this got to do with feet?

Foot problems are incredibly common among diabetic patients. If a foot issue is left untreated, it could require hospitalization or even amputation. If you have diabetes, it’s important to include your podiatrist in your team of foot doctors to ensure whole-body health. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center has years of diabetic foot treatment experience.

For diabetics, it’s common for a foot problem to lead to a larger issue:

Diabetes often affects the foot’s nerves and results in nerve damage. This can make it more difficult to notice issues like a fractured bone or other injuries that could lead to nasty complications.

Blood flow to your feet is affected by diabetes, which means that injuries won’t heal as quickly.

Immunity to infection is reduced by diabetes. That leaves your foot open to more bacterial and fungal infections affecting your skin and nails. If a cut, blister, sore, or other injury isn’t treated properly, it could turn into an infection that could even lead to amputation of a toe, foot, or leg.

Keep your feet healthy:

  • Check your feet every single day for changes in color or feeling, or for cuts, bruises, swelling, or blisters. Use a hand mirror to check the bottoms of your feet and don’t forget between your toes.

  • Wash your feet daily with warm soap and water. Then pat them dry.

  • Wear properly fitting shoes.

  • Quit smoking to prevent further-slowing blood circulation.

  • Avoid using pumice stones or cuticle nails.

  • Trim your toenails properly to avoid ingrown toenails.

  • Maintain your diet, exercise, and weight that you’ve discussed with your doctors. Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels.

If you’re one of the 29 million Americans with diabetes, it’s time to check in with a podiatrist. Dr. Stuart Snyder here at Maple Springs Foot Center can help assess and treat any foot or ankle issues related to diabetes that you might be experiencing. To get in touch, request an appointment online or call our office conveniently located in Gaithersburg, MD at 301-762-3338.