When people with
diabetes develop foot problems, those problems need
prompt treatment so that serious complications do not develop. Even problems
that seem minor-like calluses, blisters, cracked or peeling skin, and
athlete's foot-need to be evaluated by a doctor. These
frequently occur as a result of reduced sensitivity in the feet and may precede
more serious infections or foot ulcers if the cause (poorly fitted shoes,
excessive weight-bearing, or dry skin) is not identified and corrected.
After a foot ulcer has formed, it will not heal as long as weight-bearing
on the area continues. Unless your foot ulcer is infected, your doctor may put
a cast on your leg to help the ulcer heal. Keeping your weight off your injured
foot is very important. Even when you are at home, be careful to stay off that
foot. Cushioned shoes, orthotic inserts, support with a cane or crutches, and
in extreme cases, a wheelchair and bed rest may be used to reduce weight and
pressure on the feet. Foot infections need to be treated with antibiotics.
If an ulcer or infection becomes severe and the tissue in the
foot dies (gangrene), one or more of the toes, part or all of the
foot, and sometimes part of the leg may have to be removed (amputated). About 6
out of 1,000 people with diabetes have to have an amputation.1
Bone and joint deformities can develop on the
feet, such as
toe joint deformities (hammer toe, claw toe, mallet toe) or
Charcot foot. Surgery may sometimes be needed to remove bone that is causing a
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases (2008). Diabetic Neuropathies: The Nerve Damage of Diabetes (NIH Publication No. 08-3185). Available online:
Primary Medical Reviewer
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
May 13, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 13, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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