A variety of
factors work in unison to cause foot problems in people with
diabetes. These mainly involve poor circulation and
nerve disease (neuropathy). Neuropathy affects your ability to feel pain or
discomfort in your feet, making you more susceptible to extensive
injury-related damage. Also, diabetes can impair your ability to heal by
both damaging your
immune system and decreasing the blood flow in your
legs. This can lead to bone and joint deformities, such as
Diabetes can also affect
your vision, making it harder for you to notice sores or injuries to
your feet. You may not notice an injury or infection until your condition is so
serious that you require surgery, possibly removal (amputation) of your foot
and even part of your leg.
Risk factors for developing foot ulcers
Age. Risks increase with age.
Gender. Males are at higher risk.
Race. African Americans,
Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans are at higher risk.
Duration of diabetes. The longer you have diabetes, the greater your
Other complications from diabetes (small blood vessel
atherosclerosis of large blood vessels).
glucose control. Having blood sugar levels above a target blood sugar range over time speeds
up the damage to blood vessels and nerves.
contributes to blood flow problems in your extremities.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.