Is foot pain and numbness in feet a symptom of diabetes complication?

March 16, 20170

Do you feel recently as if all your sensors on your feet have gone into overdrive? As if any sensation in the feet is heightened excessively? While some may describe it as a pain, or a prickly sensations, others may experience a burning or numbness in their feet. For people with diabetes, this is a major red alert. Increased sensations in the feet can be caused due to nerve damage from diabetes. Some of these include tingling sensations in the feet, numbness in the toes, cold feet, shooting pains in feet and lower legs, increased sensitivity in the foot and weak leg muscles.

Diabetes and foot pain

Excess sugar in the blood overtime affects the nerve cells especially in the feet. This damage to nerve cells is a slow process and can often go undiagnosed for a long time until symptoms emerge. High levels of sugar in the blood damage nerve cells and shrink blood vessels causing these symptoms. If left unchecked, this can severely damage the nervous system even leading to permanent problems. Symptoms are largely observed in the feet and lower legs and in advanced cases may extend to the arms and back a well.

High blood sugar can also lead to narrow blood vessels which in turn decreases blood circulation to the legs. This further worsens symptoms. Keep in mind that the best solution to control blood sugar and keep your feet healthy is through a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy, balanced meals and a regular exercise routine are fundamental to good health especially for diabetics.

Care tips before starting a new routine

  • Prickly feeling in the feet like a ‘Pins and Needles’ sensation
  • Extreme sensitivity to the slightest touch
  • Burning sensations in the feet
  • Pain in the feet and lower legs especially at night time
  • Numbness in the toes and feet
  • Lack of balance
  • Change in look or shape of the feet

Simple tips to keep feet healthy and pain free

  • Be sure to do some form of physical activity everyday for healthy blood circulation.
  • Stretch and walk around for every hour of sitting or inactivity. For instance, stand up and stretch in every ad break of your favourite TV programme.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables which are high in minerals and low in sugar.
  • Talk to your doctor or nutritionist and make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
  • Do a round of light yoga or walking before bedtime.

Thus, it is essential for people with diabetes to examine their feet on a daily basis. Anything from skin problems, aches and pains, muscle loss, lack of balance etc. should be instantly shared with the doctor. This could be due to higher blood sugar levels and needs to be corrected instantly. The doctor will ask you to check your levels and may advise a change in medication, diet plan or physical activity to counter these symptoms. Also, diabetics should go for a yearly or half-yearly foot exam to the doctor where they check for reflexes and touch response.

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