Diabetes and Your Feet

If you’ve never understood what diabetes is, here’s a creative way to think about it:

  • First, imagine that all the cells in your body have a lock on them.
  • Next, imagine that sugar comes knocking at a cell door. It’s had a long journey, starting as the food you ate and then getting broken down, digested, and released into your bloodstream. Sugar provides energy to every cell, so it needs to get in. But that lock on the cell door prevents it from entering.
  • Finally, something arrives to open the lock. That something is the hormone insulin.

When all is right with the body, insulin is waiting in the wings to pop open the lock and let energy into your cells. But in some people, there’s a hitch in this process. The body isn’t making any insulin – that’s Type 1 diabetes. Or, the body is producing insulin, but there’s not enough to go around, or it’s not doing its job well. That’s Type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, sugar builds up in your bloodstream because it can’t get into your cells.

So, what’s the problem with having all that sugar circulating in your blood? It does a lot of damage to the body, including just about every major organ you could name. The heart, kidneys, eyes, the nervous system, and the circulatory system are all vulnerable to the effects of diabetes.

Your feet are at risk. When high blood sugar damages nerves, you can lose feeling in your feet. When circulation is compromised, blood doesn’t easily travel to your feet. Healing a wound on the diabetic foot can be very difficult, which is why so many people with diabetic ulcers; unfortunately, end up losing a limb.

The outstanding podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, Heidi M. Christie, DPM, and Chanda L. Day-Houts DPM have many years of experience treating patients with diabetes. If you have diabetic foot concerns, visit our Montgomery County podiatry office for excellent preventative or urgent care. Call us in Montgomery, Alabama, at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.