Diabetes mellitus is a disease that prevents your body from properly using the energy from the food you eat. Diabetes occurs when one of two things happens:
The pancreas produces little insulin or no insulin at all.
The pancreas makes insulin, but the insulin made does not work as it should. This condition is called insulin resistance.
Without insulin, sugar cannot get into the cells for use as energy. This results in high blood glucose (hyperglycemia). Over time high glucose levels can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body’s ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system may also occur.
When damage to the nervous system occurs loss of regular protective sensation can be impaired or lost completely. This can result in the development of pressure sores. With immune system impairment these sores run the risk of becoming infected and due to poor blood flow often cannot heal at a normal rate. Left untreated these sores can become serious ulcerations requiring ongoing wound care and in some cases amputation.
It is important for diabetics to recognize problems early, and to seek appropriate medical attention when concerns arise. Regular diabetic foot screenings with a Chiropodist are an effective way to maintain healthy feet and prevent future problems.