Diabetes: Four key indications of ‘Charcot foot’ – nerve damage caused by high blood sugar

Diabetes UK show how to test feet for diabetic feet sensitivity

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Uncontrolled diabetes is a major health risk, which is why an early diagnosis and knowledge on effective management is key to better health in later life. When left unmanaged, whether you know you have diabetes or not, “Charcot foot” could develop. This complication of type 2 diabetes, as noted by Diabetes UK, occurs when blood vessels supplying the nerves are damaged.

When nerves are unable to get the essential nutrients that they need, they become damaged or disappear.

“This means you may start to lose the sense of feeling in your hands, feet or legs,” Diabetes UK expands.

When there is nerve damage to the foot, you might not be able to feel your feet at all.

This means any damage to the foot, such as an injury, is not felt or dealt with.

Take, for example, if you had a sprain in the ankle; if you feel the pain, you would wince at the thought of walking on your affected foot.

However, if you have no sensation in your foot, you will continue to walk on the sprain, causing more damage.

As such, the added pressure to the bone and joints can cause the foot to change shape.

Thus, if you have no sensations in your feet, the warning signs of Charcot foot include:

  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Change in foot colour
  • Change in foot shape.

When you have Charcot foot, other joints are at risk of damage, and an ulcer might develop.

“In serious cases of Charcot foot, you may need to have an amputation,” Diabetes UK warns.

Thus, if you spot any warning signs of Charcot foot, you are instructed to “take the weight off that foot immediately and talk to your doctor”.

This type of high blood sugar complication is the result of long-term elevated blood sugar levels.

When people begin to exhibit signs of diabetes, the symptoms can come on so gradually, you might not notice an apparent change.

It’s for this reason that being aware of the warning signs of high blood sugar is important.

The NHS states: “Symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.”

However, type 2 diabetes can lead to you urinating more than usual, particularly at night.

Moreover, there may be an unquenchable thirst meaning that no matter how much you drink, you still feel dehydrated.

High blood sugar can also lead to fatigue, where you feel tired all the time.

Diabetes could even lead to unexplained weight loss, and cuts and wounds taking longer to heal.

The condition may lead to blurred vision and genital itching as recurrent bouts of thrush occur.

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