Why Your Diabetic Foot Is So Important. The 101

diabetic foot

No idea why this is related to the diabetic foot, but picture comes from here.

Diabetic? Then you have a diabetic foot.

If you are a newly Diagnosed diabetic then you probably now have a diabetic foot...

But here is the catch, even if you are not diabetic you may still have problems with your feet!


Diabetes is a condition that can rumble away in the background without giving you any symptoms....or it can rumble away giving your loads of symptoms...50% of Diabetics have symptoms and 50% do not.

That is why Diabetes is always caught by the Doctor doing a completely unrelated test. Lets look at some of the symptoms:

  • Thirst
  • Blurry eyes
  • excess urination
  • tiredness

Now for me that could easily be due to over exertion, summer season conditions...It doesn't jump out DIABETES does it?

Why do we get those odd diabetic symptoms?

Excess Urination: Because the body is trying to get rid of the excess sugar running around in your body, so what it does it s that it dilutes it and tries to flush it away. This causes...

Thirst: Because of the excess sugar being flushed out you are now becoming thirsty.

Tiredness: Because your muscles and body cells are not having the energy provided to them (Insulin is not working properly to "open" the cells up to allow them to get energy (sugar)).

Blurry Eyes: Due to excess sugar- builds up around the eyes. Most people will go and get a new pair of glasses, but a normalization of the blood sugars remedies this problem.

Excess weight: Not always associated with Diabetes but something is going on with someone who has a weight issue. Just being fat is too simplistic. But there are many people who are thin and have diabetes.

And this is the problems with diabetes. It is the rampant unchecked sugars that cause the problems. They cause damage to the nerves in the feet, causing diabetic feet problems and in the hands as well. They cause irritation and inflammation of the circulation walls causing build up of fatty plaques within your arteries causing problems with blood flow.

It all comes down to a sugar problem.

But that doesn't mean that diet is always the problem. Diabetic sugars have a huge effect from the following:

Stress: If you are stressed your blood sugars increase regardless of your diet

Diet: Diet does have a part to play- especially those hidden sugars which we never see (fructose, tomato ketchup, condiments etc) also how we cook our food plays a part. Grilling is better than frying, a salad is better than fries- cheaper if it is created in your back garden.

Blood pressure. A high blood pressure leads to the circulation walls being damaged by large forces whacking it each and every time. This then builds up plaques within the blood system.

Cholesterol. There is evidence to suggest that initially cholesterol is a good thing in the fact that it tries to help our blood supply walls fight inflammation. But in excess it then sticks firmly and more builds up causing clots, strokes etc. We need fats in our diet to help our body...but again in excess it can be a serious problem.

A diabetic diet?

A diabetic diet is one that we should all be following...in other words a diabetic diet is just a normal healthy eating plan.

We must work with nature and not against it...our bodies have had thousands of years to change and changing them in a couple of years is never a good idea.

Cutting out sugars is one of the best things that we could do- especially refined sugars. We are not designed to cope with the amount of sugar that we ingest. We get it from processed foods, from soda drinks, from tea, from coffee, from snacks, breads (broken down to form sugar)...and it is killing us slowly.

Our body is designed to take in vegetables, meats, fish and clear water...that's all. These food groups then give us the amount of sugar and the amount of correct nutrients that we desire and can cope with.

Water is perfect at cleansing our body and can quench our thirst quite easily.

Detox is not a good idea because of people always miss out something or go too far with something else. Your body has a great detox system to cope with most of what the world throws at it. The Liver clears and filters rubbish out of your system remarkably well and your kidneys excrete the waste stuffs...within a week your body is naturally detoxed anyway...for free.

So why do I get tingling pain?

When excess sugar runs around your body it interrupts your nerves. No-one really knows why, but it is possible it does it within the actual cell and it creates a chemical called Sorbitol. This then starts to destroy your nerves.

You get tingling in your hands and within your Diabetic foot/ feet because your nerves have been affected. And once they have been affected then it is possible to control it (by adjusting your diet- removing those refined sugars) and exercise in moderation. But there can come to a point where your nerves have been so affected that you get odd feelings at random times.

Nerve issues for a diabetic are called diabetic neuropathy and take into consideration the whole nervous system and the effects of diabetes on that system- not just the diabetic foot. It can be painful and it can be an issue. However getting blood sugars back to a normal level for a sustained period is always helpful. You can find more free information here: Diabetic Foot Pain?

Can my diabetic foot be cured? Can diabetes be cured?

Many movie stars have stated that they have "reversed" diabetes, but all what they have done is to go from one version of diabetes to another.

Some people who take insulin can go back to a tablet regime (if type 2) and those on a tablet regime can go back to a diet regime.

Diabetes at present can not be cured but there are just different ways to control it...but all the medication that you take is reliant upon the patient to do something. If you eat chips and drink a bottle of soda daily then don't be too surprised that your go from a diet to tablet and maybe insulin regime.

The body can only do so much...it needs your help.


One of the most common questions that we get is the one on Gangrene. And rightly so...it is a big concern to us as well as the patient.

There are 2 types of gangrene that can affect the Diabetic foot:

1- Dry gangrene. This is where a an area of the foot (usually) gets its blood stopped- usually a toe. The body realizes it and autoamputates. It then removes the toe itself and the wound is clean and dry. This is actually amazing to see and no other treatment needs to be done to the diabetic foot (apart from monitoring and communicating with other health professionals)

2- Wet gangrene. Now this is a different story. The area gets infected and also has a poorer circulation- so the body's defenses can't get down that quick. The patient usually doesn't realize and walks around with an open wound. The area gets infected quickly and without quick treatment to area becomes a problem. If left the gangrene can spread but it needs to be stopped. Usually no large amputations needs to be done as it can be kept local, but sometimes with all the effort possible, it can spread quite easily and larger amputations need to be done to get back to cleaner tissue.

So, all diabetics get gangrene then?

Not all no. Sometimes it just occurs. And sometimes, again, it is due to the patient not monitoring their own feet. Some of our patients have come to us with an open wound without a dressing on and has been like that for 1 week minimum.

Make no mistake, diabetes is a progressive disease and it can affect the Diabetic foot in a whole manner of ways (it can get worse over time) but it can be managed and it NEEDS to be managed earlier on as in those earlier years are most dependent to what determines the strength of the complication that you are going to get.

Want more Diabetic foot information? Click to go back to the Diabetes articles homepage

The medical information on the ldfootcare.com web site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

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About Dominic Hough

Hi. I'm Dominic. I treat patients every day at a local clinic. I am a trained Chiropodist and I care about prevention. I designed the website to help readers understand treat and even prevent issues from happening to their feet.