Poor blood flow, nerve damage and other conditions can turn minor foot problems into career-ending, life-threatening complications from diabetes, warns Dougherty County Health Department Director Cheryl Henley.
“People with diabetes are prone to foot problems, which can develop without their knowledge,” said Henley. “Nerve damage, or neuropathy, to the feet is common. Diabetic nerve damage means you may not feel an injury or change in your foot. The result is an ordinary or minor problem that becomes a serious complication.”
Sometimes, nerve damage deforms or misshapes feet, she said. As a result, pressure points can turn into blisters, calluses, sores or ulcers. “Poor circulation can make such injuries slow to heal,” Henley said. “And loss of sensation in the feet means you may not realize there is a problem until it becomes serious.”
Consequently, people with diabetes are at risk of amputation of the foot or leg, Henley said.
Dr. Glenn A. Dowling, a podiatrist who specializes in foot care, is the featured speaker at the Dougherty County Health Department’s free Lunch and Learn scheduled for Friday from noon until 1 p.m.
After his lecture, a question-and-answer session will be held, followed by a nutritious heart healthy lunch. To ensure sufficient seats and lunches are available, please call the health department at 430-6230 to register by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Written by Carolyn Maschke