Diabetes is a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood. This happens when the pancreas is not releasing the levels of insulin it needs to be in order to process the blood sugar (glucose) into energy. Diabetes is not curable, but it is manageable with healthy living. If not managed properly, diabetes can lead to other issues with your kidneys, heart, teeth, eyes, nerves and feet.
There are several types of diabetes including type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your pancreas does not make insulin at all and those with this disease must take insulin every day of their life. Type 2 diabetes is when your body can't make OR use insulin particularly well. Type 2 is also the most common type of diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs occasionally in pregnant women.
There are two main problems that diabetes can cause that will affect your feet: diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic neuropathy is when poorly managed diabetes damages a person's nerves in their legs and feet causing them to be unable, or, much less able to feel pain, cold or heat. This can lead to additional issues including infections and foot ulcers.
Peripheral vascular disease is when diabetes restricts the blood flow in a person's legs and, as a result, infections might not heal which could cause ulcers or gangrene. Diabetes can also cause or worsen numerous other foot ailments including: athlete's foot, fungal infections, calluses, corns, blisters, bunions, ingrown nails and warts.
The best way to prevent and or manage diabetes and diabetes related conditions is to take care of yourself and your health as best you can. Maintaining a proper diet and regimen of exercise is an excellent start. If you have diabetes, make sure you monitor and keep your blood sugar at it's recommended levels. You should wash yourself in warm water every day without soaking and dry yourself thoroughly once you are finished. Check yourself every day for sores, ulcers and any other lesions that you might find. Stop smoking as it can restrict blood flow even further. Finally, be sure to see your doctor regularly for checkups.