Diabetes and Foot Complications

Learn ways of preventing diabetic foot complications

The term diabetic foot typically refers to ever-increasing complications in the feet of people suffering from diabetes mellitus. Peripheral neuropathy, one of the most prevalent foot problems associated with diabetes, can lead to vascular disease, ulceration and place a person at increased risk of infection. It can also, in some cases, lead to deformities such as Charcot arthropathy. Complications resulting from diabetes can also lead to lower extremity amputation.  

Before we talk about ways that diabetic patients can help prevent foot complications let’s take a closer look at the four common diabetic foot complications mentioned above.

Diabetic Neuropathy

This is a form of nerve damage that can present as pain and numbness in the legs and feet to problems with the heart, blood vessels, urinary tract and digestive system. While some people may only have mild symptoms others can find diabetic neuropathy to be extremely painful and debilitating. It’s estimated that as many as 50% of people with diabetes suffer from this serious diabetes complication.

Peripheral Vascular Disease

PVD is a circulation disorder that slowly worsens and is often caused by blockage, narrowing or spasms in a blood vessel. The legs and feet are most commonly affected. although the disease can affect blood vessels elsewhere in the body.

PVD leads to decreased circulation of the feet and legs which, in turn, means that wounds take longer to heal because of a lack of nutrients. Swelling and dry skin is another add-on effect of PVD and increases the risk of infection and ulceration.


Diabetics are more likely to suffer from infection than non-diabetics. When coupled with poor circulation resulting from PVD, the immune system slows down and takes longer to reach the site of infection. Foot ulcers also create an environment for a wound that increases its susceptibility to infection.

Charcot Arthropathy

Foot fractures, dislocations, and deformities are all symptoms of the bone condition – Charcot Arthropathy. It’s thought that this condition is related to poor glucose control and neuropathic ulcers also have a similar origin.

Preventing Foot Problems In Patients With Diabetes

Fortunately, there are several ways for diabetic patients to minimise the risk of developing foot complications.

So, there you have it. Several ways that can help prevent foot problems in people suffering from diabetes.

Of course, prevention is always better than cure and one way to help detect minor conditions before they become serious issues is by vascular screening.

Here at The Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy Dr Goke Akinwande and his friendly team specialise in PAD screening, state-of-the-art endovascular treatments and amputation prevention. Why not schedule your free vascular screening or use online booking today and take another step to help prevent the development of chronic foot complications.

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