Triggered by the body’s bad circulatory system, symptoms of diabetes in foot are quite common. It has been surveyed that one out of five diabetic patients gets hospitalized just because of the diabetic symptoms in their feet. Even PodiatryChannel.com has accepted that leg and foot complications are among the major causes of hospitalization for the patients of diabetes.
Medically, excessive sugar levels result in mild to acute nerve damage. Now, this nerve can be of any body part such as hands or feet. Depending upon the level of damage, the symptoms in the feet owing to diabetes tend to vary from one patient to another. If these symptoms are not detected as soon as they occur, they can lead to extremely grave foot complications such as amputation. Therefore, it is vital to comprehend and identify the symptoms of diabetes in feet, which are mentioned below.
Signs & Symptoms of Diabetes In The Feet
Sensation Loss in Feet
This symptom is one of the early warning signs for those suffering from diabetes. Many patients of diabetes lack feet sensation owing to nerve damage (neuropathy). According to the National Institute of Health, loss of sensation often occurs at night. Loss or lack of sensation means the patient is unable to sense injury, pain, or heat. If the condition has become grave, the patient might also lose her/his balance or experience a shooting pain coupled with a burning sensation.
Strange Skin Defects
According to the ADA, the feet of a diabetic can become dry enough to invite cracks, swelling, redness, as well as peeling due to an infection. This is probably due to neuropathy wherein the nerves regulating the production of oil in the foot become dead or dysfunctional.
Furthermore, a patient might also experience thick patches or calluses that tend to build up more quickly on the feet’s skin. If these patches are not treated, they further break down to convert into ulcers (open sores) that are seen on the foot’s ball or beneath the large toe. Even if these ulcers are left untreated, they can worsen to form serious infections that can lead to foot amputation.
For dealing with dry foot skin, ADA suggests using a light cream or petroleum jelly that is not to be applied in between the toes for preventing a fungal infection. To tackle calluses, ADA favors using a pumice stone that you can wear below thick skin areas.
Even this symptom is associated with neuropathy. As per the Mercy Medical Center, the nerve stream to the joints as well as bones is not normal in diabetic patients. Moreover, stress build up in small regions of the feet along with the cracks in bones.
The worst part is that these cracks and stress might not be felt due to loss of sensation. So, the continuous usage of foot in ignorance causes deformity eventually. Walking on such foot places more stress on certain points leading to ulcers.
Diabetes causes the blood vessels to constrict and harden, which consequently results in reduced blood flow. As a result, the ability of the feet to fight infection is negatively affected, which is evident in the form of delayed healing time. Poor circulation may trigger pain while walking, particularly on a tough or sloping surface.