If you notice that your feet or toes are numb, tingling, ulcerated, deformed, or discolored, or if you have trouble walking, you may be one of the millions of Americans who have diabetes and don’t even know it. The experts at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists in Grapevine and Keller, Texas, can evaluate, diagnose, and treat any foot-related condition, including those caused by undiagnosed or untreated diabetes. Don’t wait: Men and women in the Grapevine, Keller, and surrounding areas can call Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists today.
Diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus, is a chronic disease that prevents your body from efficiently converting the food you eat into energy.
Typically, your body uses a hormone called insulin to direct ingested sugar out of the bloodstream and into your body’s cells. The cells then burn the sugar as fuel.
If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or if your body can’t use insulin efficiently, the sugar circulating in your blood increases to unhealthy levels, a condition known as hyperglycemia.
There are two types of diabetes. In Type I, your immune system attacks the pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin. In Type II, the most common type, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin.
If your diabetes is not controlled through lifestyle modifications, injected insulin, or other medications, you can develop a condition called diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage). About half of all people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy affects your feet. Peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling or burning sensations in your feet or even make them feel numb. When your feet are numb, you can injure them severely without even noticing.
Another diabetes-related condition that can affect your feet is called diabetic dermopathy. This benign condition looks like dark scars on your skin. You could also develop a rare condition called Charcot foot, which is a type of arthritis that can cause fractures and deformities.
Diabetes also can lead to peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which reduces the flow of blood to your legs and feet. If you don’t treat your diabetes and PAD, you could develop ulcers and infections that lead to gangrene and require amputation of your toes, feet, or legs.
Whether you have diabetes or not, you should immediately contact your podiatrist at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists if you experience symptoms such as:
You should also contact Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists if you have balance or gait problems. Call today to book an appointment.