Diabetes can interfere with circulation and sensation depending on how high the BGL’s get. People with Diabetes are therefore at an increased risk of developing foot complications due to the condition. Hardening of the arteries (Arteriosclerosis) and narrowing of the arteries (Atherosclerosis) are more common at younger ages in people with Diabetes. Either or both those conditions can cause Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) which can lead to ischemia in the feet and toes.
The nervous system can also be effected by high BGL’s which can impair the ability to feel the feet; this is referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy. It can reduce foot sensation slightly or severely, and can affect the function of muscles in the feet. Even a slight reduction in sensation can lead to problems recognizing if the feet are hot or cold, or whether they have been damaged in any way. Due to loss of sensation in the feet minor cuts, blisters or pressure sores can go undetected and end up becoming ulcers. Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy always affects both feet which can help distinguish it from other types of nerve damage.
Mark at Prostep Podiatry specialises in Diabetic foot care having spent 5 Years running the Diabetic Ulcer Clinic at Sutherland Hospital in Sydney and has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education and Management.