Diabetes can cause severe complications. In the long run, you can even lose your feet or legs.
But before this happens, you experience symptoms such as pain, tingling or numbness in your toes.
In this article, you will learn everything about diabetic feet and other symptoms of type 2 diabetes.
What is the cause of numbness and tingling in the toes?
In this article, I will show you 8 symptoms of type 2 diabetes. You can use these to gain more insight into this horrible disease. Either for yourself or a loved one.
One of the complications of type 2 diabetes is a diabetic foot.
This complication starts pretty innocently, with numbness in your toes for example. But this can quickly change...
... ending up with having to amputate the foot.
That's why I am very proud of you for proactively investigating what might be wrong with your health right now.
Purpose of this article
In this article, I will discuss in detail what a diabetic foot is, what other telltale signs of type 2 diabetes you should look out for, and what you can do about it.
Note: I don't want you to use this list alone to diagnose yourself. If you have any of the symptoms I mention below, you should see a doctor as soon as possible for a thorough examination and a professional opinion . on whether you are ill or not.
Symptom 1: Diabetic foot
How do you know if you're suffering from this?
Some of these sensations can arise from other conditions apart from a diabetic foot. These may include:
Numbness in your feet can be limited to two toes, your middle toe or your entire foot. This happens because the nerves get damaged.
Damage to the nerves in your foot is usually caused by clogging due to high blood sugar levels.
This can happen if your blood sugar is continuously too high – the condition is known as long-term hyperglycemia. The blood vessels in your feet get damaged, preventing blood (and therefore much-needed oxygen) from reaching the cells of your foot.
How do you recognize the numb feeling?
When you have symptoms like these, it's a good idea to have regular medical pedicures. Preferably monthly. This will allow your doctor to keep an eye on how things are going with your feet and if necessary take measures. Pedicures also ensure that your feet are well looked after in general.
Another condition to be aware of is intermittent claudication. The initial symptoms of this are quite unremarkable. To begin with, your foot and lower leg feel somewhat stiff, but then suddenly you experience severe muscle pain. Thankfully, if you stay calm, it will stop after a short time.
Nevertheless, if you find this happening regularly, you should definitely visit your doctor. The sooner you address it, the better.
Numb feeling due to poor blood circulation
Because the small blood vessels in your feet are clogged, blood flow is no longer good. Your feet, and often your hands as well, will feel cold.
Because of the deteriorating blood circulation:
Skin infections can occur at any moment. When infected, your foot becomes warm, red, andswollen, and starts to tingle.
Almost all problems with a diabetic foot are caused by neuropathy – nerve damage caused by poor blood circulation in the foot.
Because of the lack of feeling in your foot, you won't be irritated by that little stone in your shoe, and you won't be aware that your new shoes have been rubbing a deep hole in your heel. Things like this can cause inflammation (more about inflammation in the next symptom).
Lack of feeling can also make you start walking badly. You no longer feel how much pressure you're exerting on your foot. And because the bones in your foot are not as strong as they used to be, they can easily become compressed.
In the worst case scenario, fractures will occur which will cause deformation in your foot. This is also called a Charcot foot.
And to finish it all off, the tissue of your feet can die from lack of oxygen and the absence of metabolic byproducts. In a case like this, your foot would have to be amputated.
Fortunately, a lot has to go wrong before this is necessary.
Symptom 2: Poor healing of wounds
With diabetic feet, neuropathy is the biggest problem. It leaves you with no feeling. So, if you get a wound on your foot and you continue walking on it because you didn't notice it, it will become inflamed.
If you do see a wound, it needs to be cleaned and bandaged immediately because if it starts to get infected, you will have a much bigger problem, which will require expert medical assistance.
Diabetics usually notice wounds too late. If it's been there for a while, you can only imagine what the consequences will be. The longer a wound goes unattended, the bigger the problem gets.
The picture below shows the different classifications of a diabetes wound.
This process is not limited to the feet. It can happen anywhere in the body because the small capillaries are everywhere. The feet are more susceptible to this. But it can also occur in the hands.
Symptom 3: Changing visual acuity
People with diabetes can experience three types of eye problems.
Changing visual acuity
The way the lens of your eye refracts light can vary due to high blood sugar levels, which cause it to swell up. When this happens, your eyesight becomes blurry.
The big temptation is to buy a pair of glasses. This will help until your blood sugar drops again and the lens returns to normal, which can take a while but isn't harmful – just very annoying.
That's why it's good to keep your blood sugar constantly within a healthy range. And you do this by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Blood sugar too low
Your eyesight can also be blurred if your blood sugar is too low. However, this has nothing to do with the lens being distorted, but rather because you become light-headed and dizzy. It's good to be aware of the difference because when your blood sugar is low you will also feel weak and tired and having something to eat or drink will help.
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Symptom 4: A damaged retina
Diabetes is the biggest cause of blindness in the world because increased blood sugar levels harm your retina.
When light enters your eyes, it ends up on your retina. This is a tiny area of your eye which we can think of as a canvas.
Our brains translate the light that falls onto the canvas as an image.
Your retina needs continuous blood flow. The capillaries of the retina can bleed easily, for example when they become clogged with sugar. These small wounds change into scars.
This is also called diabetic retinopathy.
Scars that form on the edges of the canvas have hardly any effect on your vision. But those that appear in the center can have catastrophic consequences.
When there is a wound in the middle of the canvas, then the macula of your retina is affected, resulting in a very noticeable deterioration in your vision. If this vital piece of the canvas is badly 'damaged,' your brain can't make a good impression of all that light coming in.
Symptom 5: Kidney problems
This is the organ that filters out and excretes the waste in your blood.
It is therefore vital that your kidneys continue to work well. Otherwise, all the toxic waste will remain in your blood.
Diabetes can cause scar tissue in your kidneys. This means that the kidneys cannot do their job properly.
You will be virtually unaware of this at first, but your doctor may notice something.
During a diabetes check, your doctor will measure your blood pressure because it can indicate whether or not you have kidney problems.
The doctor can also do a urine test to find out if there are proteins in your urine. which also indicates kidney problems.
The kidneys are resilient organs, so if they're slightly damaged, it's not a major problem. But if severe damage has occured over the course of several decades, there can be serious complications.
These are the complications that occur:
Symptom 6: Gastric and intestinal problems
When you eat something, it goes to your stomach. From there, it passes to the intestines to be broken down into health nutrients, which are absorbed; and the rest, which is excreted as feces.
Diabetes can damage nerves in your stomach, causing stomach relaxation (gastroparesis) and preventing the organ from digesting the food properly. This results in the food taking longer than usual to travel from your stomach to your intestines.
In this case, your body loses control over emptying your stomach.
In the beginning, this can cause:
All these complications are caused by your food not being processed properly. This can be even more problematic if you inject insulin or need to time exactly when to eat.
This makes it essential for you to prevent the symptoms and complications of diabetes as much as possible. Or, if you already have diabetes, to live a healthy lifestyle. In this way, you can reverse your diabetes.
Symptom 7: Fatigue
This is one of the most debilitating complications you can have as a patient. But it is also, unfortunately, one of the first symptoms.
With diabetes, there is too much sugar in your blood that cannot be absorbed by the cells. As a result, your cells don't get any energy and you feel tired.
This will be the case when your body no longer produces insulin (or produces too little) or your cells have become insensitive to insulin.
The result is that you can eat whatever you want, but you will not get any energy from it.
A good medication plan (including insulin) is a good first step. You can set this up together with a doctor. Through adjustments, you can ensure that you get the correct dosages, making your blood sugar as stable as possible.
Of course, it also helps to eat healthily and get the right amount of exercise. Your body can do its job thanks to the medication, but unfortunately, this is a temporary solution. It is better to actively work at making sure your blood sugar is not too high.
Symptom 8: Joints are affected
This is a symptom you can suffer from quite often, and one that cannot be addressed directly.
Unfortunately, joints do not have so many blood vessels at their disposal. When the blood vessels are affected, this has significant consequences. Often you notice this first in your fingers because you won't be able to move them correctly.
Another way you can notice this is when you experience stiffness.
All joints and tendons of the fingers slowly become stiffer. This means that the fingers can no longer stretch.
This is also known as limited joint mobility (LJM).
It can also express itself as a "frozen shoulder." This is when your shoulder becomes extremely stiff for extended periods of time due to a kind of scar tissue forming where it doesn't normally belong.
Damage to your joints can be prevented just like all other complications by following my tips for a healthy diet.
It has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. And you can find all the necessary resources in your local grocery store.
You can reverse type 2 diabetes with one powerful principle. It's something I call "The Diabetes-Free Secret". I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
Enter your e-mail address below and I will send you the E-book for free.
PS: Do you have a numb or tingling feeling in your toes? What did you do when you discovered it? Leave a comment below