Getting cold feet? It could be due to diabetes

As the days get shorter and we head towards the winter months, it is time to discuss a disease that more than any other, has negative effects on the feet. This disease is diabetes. The reason that we are talking about diabetes as we head into winter, is that individuals with diabetes commonly complain of cold feet.

Diabetes is a rapidly growing disease in Australia. Currently there are over 1 million people that have been diagnosed with it, and this number is expected to rise to 3.3 million by 2030. The disease is characterised by a reduction in the ability of the body to regulate sugar in the blood via the hormone insulin. This means that unless it is closely controlled, blood sugar can become dangerously low or high.

When blood sugars are maintained at a high level for a sustained period of time, cold feet symptoms can be one of many neurological symptoms described by individuals with diabetes. Other neurological symptoms include numbness, burning and tingling sensations. While further changes in the feet can include impaired healing of wounds and changes to skin integrity.

These symptoms are due to changes in vessels that supply blood to the feet. As all structures of the body require blood to function, a reduction in blood supply negatively affects many systems including the nervous system. Many individuals may have diabetes and not know it. Some of the early symptoms may include excessive thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, tiredness, blurred vision and changes in foot sensation. If you are suffering any of these symptoms then a visit to the GP is required.

For those that have been diagnosed with diabetes, frequent consultations with a Podiatrist is a must to prevent complication that can occur with diabetes and so that the individual is aware of what they must do to protect their feet.

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