The American Diabetes Association estimates that 50% of people with diabetes experience some type of foot concern.

What’s the cause behind this common complication? Many times the answer is diabetic neuropathy.

What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

According to the Mayo Clinic, neuropathy is something that affects a person’s nerves. The condition can cause pain or weakness in the body’s extremities. The symptoms of neuropathy can range from mild numbness to tingling or burning-type pain in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes.

People with diabetes are often more susceptible to neuropathy because prolonged high blood sugar can cause damage to nerve fibers throughout the body, especially those in a person’s legs and feet.

Neuropathy makes it difficult for people to feel pain in their feet. This means you could have a sore on your foot without knowing about it, and if this sore is left untreated, it can lead to a serious infection. In addition, neuropathy can prevent the nerves that control oil and moisture in your foot from working properly. As a result, people with diabetic neuropathy may notice the skin on their feet becoming especially dry or cracked.

orthopedic examining foot

Reduce Your Risk of Neuropathy

The easiest way to prevent or delay diabetic neuropathy is by keeping your blood sugar in check.

Mayo Clinic recommends talking to your doctor to find a healthy glucose range that is best for you and your body. People with diabetes can also put a stop to foot problems by scheduling a foot exam with their doctor at least once a year.

One of the most important things you can do to protect the health of your feet at home is to check them each day for blisters, bruises, cuts, and swelling. Watch this video to learn how to perform a daily foot check.

To prevent injury, make sure to wear clean, dry socks and well-cushioned shoes that fit your feet well. Remember to contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

Summary Diabetic neuropathy is a common complication in people with diabetes, but it can be prevented. Be sure to talk to your doctor about neuropathy and the best ways for you to reduce your risk.

Disclaimer: Any information provided is not intended as medical advice. Iowa Diabetes is not responsible for any information from third parties.