If you have recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you may already be feeling overwhelmed with all of the tests, injections and medications you are expected to keep track of. But amidst all of this sudden responsibility, it can be easy for the less noticeable side effects of diabetes to slip through the cracks. One frequent complication of this disorder is poor circulation to the feet, increasing your chances of infection and, eventually, required amputation. By seeing a podiatrist regularly, however, you can minimize the symptoms of diabetes-related foot issues and possibly save your feet in the process.
Reducing Your Risk of Infection
When your feet aren't getting the blood flow they need, it is harder for your body's immune system to heal wounds and respond to potential threats. Cuts and blisters that generally would not be cause for concern may fail to heal and gradually develop into an ulcer or become gangrenous. If you notice that an injury to your foot seems to be lingering longer than it should, visiting your podiatrist can help you jump-start your immune system and ensure it does not progress into something more serious.
Encouraging Healthy Circulation
One of the key challenges with diabetes-related foot complication is promoting healthy circulation to and from your foot. This can involve specialized massages or medication, depending on the severity of your condition. Either way, maintaining circulation is your best bet to keep your feet functional and avoid the threat of amputation.
Managing Discomfort and Ulcers From Diabetes
In the early stages of diabetic foot degeneration, you may frequently suffer from pins and needles and other small twinges of pain that can make walking almost unbearably uncomfortable. Later, ulcers and other injuries may cause more severe pain. Your podiatrist will help you manage this pain so that you can continue to walk and drive normally, as well as work to reduce the size and damage of any ulcers you develop.
Recognizing Worrisome Signs Early
Most importantly, scheduling an exam at least once per year with a podiatrist may help you catch the first signs that your feet are degenerating to dangerous levels. Because your feet will tend to lose sensation as their condition deteriorates, you may not even notice the problem until it is too late. By staying up-to-date with your appointments and allowing a professional to inspect your feet, you can be sure that you stand the best possible chance of maintaining your mobility without needing to worry about a possible amputation.
For more information, contact Foot & Ankle Care Center PA or a similar location.