Diabetes, Neuropathy, & Circulation

Diabetes and How it Can Affect the Feet:

It is well known that Diabetics face a higher rate of foot problems than the rest of the population. Diabetes can affect many of the body's systems, and it's effects on the circulatory and neurological systems greatly affect the health of the feet. 

Uncontrolled blood sugar can make the body more susceptible to infections and the diabetics that smoke cigarettes have drastically higher rates of foot infections, wounds and amputations than those that do not. Regular foot care can help prevent problems.

What is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy is most often felt at first as a tingling, burning or numbness sensation. It can make the feet susceptible to injury and also make the person not feel the injury, so they ignore it. Pathology of the nerves can also cause dilation of the arterial flow to the feet, which one would think of as a good thing, until it's pointed out that the excess flow causes the washing away of bony minerals, causing osteoporosis and the increased chances of foot fractures. 

Does Neuropathy only happen to diabetics?

No. There are many causes of neuropathy. Diabetes is just the most common cause. Other causes include: drug reactions, injury, inherited disorders, alcoholism, illnesses (examples: Breast Cancer, Non-Hodgekin's Lymphoma), bone marrow transplantation, infections. 

Circulation and Aging

How can circulatory changes affect the health of the feet? 

Here's an example: There is a wound on the foot, and there is not adequate circulation to bring the nutrients and necessary healing factors to the lesion in order for it to fight infection and heal. This is a common cause of non-healing and foot amputation. For these patients, it is of vital importance to take proper regular care of the feet to prevent problems.  

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