Diabetes can cause damage to the nervous system and blood flow to the feet. When this occurs, it is difficult to feel sensations and fight off disease. As a result, something as simple as a small cut can go unnoticed and become infected.
Symptoms associated with diabetic foot, include nerve and circulation problems, lasting numbness, and loss of sensation. Shiny skin, open sores, difficulty walking, and hair on the legs or feet that stops growing are also common symptoms. Swelling and redness may be noticeable if the foot is infected.
Physicians will ask about symptoms and review medical history before diagnosing diabetic foot complications. A physician will also examine the legs, feet, and toes to check for numbness and sores. If ulcers or blisters are present, x-rays/MRIs and testing may be required to rule out infection.
Treatment for diabetic foot varies depending on severity. Controlling diabetes, foot hygiene, and choosing appropriate footwear are all important factors in protecting diabetic feet. Regular foot inspections are also recommended. If symptoms are severe, hospitalization may be required. Amputation is sometimes necessary to prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.