How Diabetes Causes Foot-Related Health Issues

Diabetes is a chronic condition caused by the body’s inability to produce or properly use insulin. Patients with diabetes have difficulty converting sugars, starches, and other chemicals into energy, which can cause serious damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, nerves, and feet, if left untreated. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, diabetes affects nearly 26 million people in the United States, and diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15 percent of patients with this condition.

A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that is usually located on the bottom of a diabetic’s foot. It forms from a combination of factors, but the most common include poor circulation, increased pressure or friction, trauma, and complications with insulin use. Unfortunately, anyone who has diabetes regardless of what type is considered “at risk” of developing a diabetic foot ulcer. Still, there are ways patients can reduce their risk of this adverse effect.

Before jumping into prevention tactics, the team at Scottsdale Liberty Hospital wants to educate patients on how diabetes can cause foot-related health issues. For starters, diabetes affects many different parts of the body, ultimately causing complications to various vital body parts. In addition to diabetic foot ulcers, diabetes can cause swelling, numbness, and pain in the feet and ankles, as well as ingrown and fungal toenails, bleeding corns and calluses, and color changes to the skin.

These changes are basically side effects that develop from a poorly managed blood sugar. If a diabetic’s blood sugar is elevated too frequently for too long, it can cause damage to body parts, including the feet. The best way to prevent some these issues requires the following: a trained podiatrist and primary care physician who can help monitor your health and recommend treatments if needed, and self-care in the form of a proper diet and exercise.

Both of these actions will help prevent many of these foot-related health issues. If you’re reading this and have already started to notice some problems like a diabetic foot ulcer, call Scottsdale Liberty Hospital immediately to speak to a hospital representative. They may be able to put you in touch with a podiatrist in your area. If not, you’re more than welcome to review our provider directory ( to find a highly qualified podiatrist.

For more information on Scottsdale Liberty Hospital and how we can help you or a loved one, visit our information request page, or contact us at 480-586-2300.

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.