How much do you know about diabetes? To understand this full-body illness, first you need to know about a small but critical gland in the torso called the pancreas. Your pancreas is part of your endocrine system, the body parts that generate hormones. It is responsible for the production of the hormone insulin, which is essential for the regulation of levels of glucose, a kind of sugar, in your blood stream.
When the pancreas fails in part or in full, diabetes occurs. Symptoms of the onset of diabetes include extreme thirst, frequent urination, and unexplained weight loss. You should see your doctor if you experience any of these.
Diabetes causes complications throughout the body. Heart disease and kidney disease frequently occur. Vision issues can happen. Diabetes-related complications in the feet are common. Three are of particular note:
Diminished circulation is not unusual in diabetic feet. This means that people with diabetes often feel cold. Be sure to wear socks and shoes or slippers, even at home. Don’t wear socks without shoes in the house. This increases the likelihood of a fall that can cause foot and ankle injuries.
Along with diminished circulation, many diabetics experience peripheral neuropathy, a lack of sensation in the feet. This means that they are less able than others to perceive the pain associated with small nicks, cuts, or other injuries. Infection can occur. It is especially important that diabetics inspect their feet daily.
Finally, the infected wounds discussed above can develop into ulcers, deep wounds that are extremely difficult to heal. Patients with diabetic foot ulcers can require hospitalization for the intravenous administration of antibiotics. Amputation can be necessary for the preservation of life.
The best step that anyone – diabetic or not – can take to preserve foot health is to visit a board-certified podiatrist like James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS. With years of specialized training and experience, your foot doctor is an expert in diagnosing and treating all illnesses and injuries of the feet, ankle, and lower legs, and is the best-qualified medical professional to care for this part of your body. Schedule a convenient appointment in Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. comfortable office on Solomons Island Road today. Call our friendly staff at 410-224-4448 or click here to get started.