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Many things work together to cause foot problems in people who have diabetes, especially poor circulation and nerve disease (neuropathy). Neuropathy significantly dulls awareness of your feet, making you more susceptible to extensive injury-related damage. Also, diabetes can impair your ability to heal by both damaging your immune system and decreasing the blood flow in your legs.
If your vision has been affected by diabetic retinopathy or other eye problems, you may not see an injury or infection in your feet early. If you get a foot infection or injury, you may not notice it until your condition is so serious that you require surgery, possibly amputation.
Things that increase your risk for diabetic foot problems include:
Because foot disease in diabetes usually begins with neuropathy, your first step in preventing foot problems should be addressing problems with your nerves. Neuropathy causes problems in your feet by disrupting your nerves, both reducing your sensation of pain and causing problems with the way you walk. Such problems can damage your feet in the following ways:
Here are a few things you can do to make foot problems less likely:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology|
|Last Revised||April 12, 2012|
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