Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute
Podiatrists located in Austin, TX
If you have diabetes, you should see a qualified podiatrist immediately at the first sign of a foot condition or injury. Poor circulation that’s associated with diabetes means even something as simple as an ingrown toenail or athlete’s foot can lead to serious consequences if left untreated. At Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute in Austin, Texas, Babak Kaviani, DPM, or Liza Chabokrow, DPM, will evaluate your symptoms and recommend the best treatment to restore your feet to health and prevent future complications. You can book an appointment through our online scheduling system, or by calling our office directly.
Diabetes Q & A
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body can’t use glucose (blood sugar) normally. People with diabetes have trouble with the hormone insulin, which transports glucose into cells to be used for energy. With diabetes, you don’t have enough insulin or your body doesn’t use the insulin properly, so glucose builds up in the blood.
Symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, increased thirst, and frequent urination, blurred vision, extreme hunger, and unexplained weight loss.
If you have diabetes and your blood sugar is not well-controlled, you can develop problems that affect various parts of your body, including your feet.
How does diabetes affect your feet?
Diabetes can cause foot-related complications from diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs when diabetes has damaged the nerves in your feet, which may cause a variety of symptoms including:
- Tingling or pins-and-needles sensations
- Sharp pains and cramping
- Extreme sensitivity to even a light touch
- Loss of ability to feel pain or detect temperature
- Inability to feel discomfort from cuts and sores
- Loss of reflexes in the ankle
- Muscle weakness
Peripheral vascular disease leads to poor blood flow that affects your arms or legs. In the case of your feet, poor circulation means it takes longer for cuts or sores to heal, which can lead to foot ulcers, infections or gangrene, which is the death of tissue. In severe cases, a toe or foot may require amputation, because there's too much dead tissue.
How can I prevent foot issues caused by diabetes?
Making sure you’re eating right and keeping your blood sugar within your recommended range helps prevent or delay side effects of diabetes that can affect your feet. Taking proper care of your feet is part of your diabetes management, too.
When caring for your feet, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing a serious foot issue:
- Wash your feet daily in warm water and dry them well
- Use lotion to moisturize the skin on your feet
- Keep your toenails trimmed straight across, but not too short
- Wear closed-toed shoes or slippers at all times
- Always wear socks
- Make sure your shoes fit properly
- Protect your feet from extreme temperatures
- Move your legs and feet often to keep blood flowing
- Don’t smoke
- Schedule regular foot exams
If you have diabetes, make sure to have your feet examined every two to three months. You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaviani or Dr. Chabokrow through Bluebonnet Foot and Ankle Institute’s online scheduling system, or by calling the office by phone.