As a podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm knows all too well the dangers that diabetes poses to his patients’ feet. Even when patients manage their blood sugar levels really well, they can eventually develop debilitating foot problems. That’s why it’s so important to us at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center that we try to educate you about diabetes prevention.


There are symptoms of the disease that are pretty well-known, such as excessive thirst, increased urination, and being hungry all the time. But there are so many others that remain somewhat sidelined. They can sneak up on anyone who’s not aware of their connection to diabetes.

  1. Vision problems, also called diabetic neuropathy. Not seeing clearly may only mean that you’ve gone from 20-20 vision to 20-100 and need glasses. However, blurred vision can also be a result of high blood glucose that’s affecting the lens of your eye.
  2. Chest pain. There is a definitive connection between diabetes and heart disease. Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis and restricted blood flow to and from the heart.
  3. Tingling in the hands and feet.  Diabetes can also damage your body’s nerves, which can cause not only tingling in your extremities but numbness or pain as well.
  4. Fatigue. Hyperglycemia, another name for high blood glucose, can make a body feel very tired. Fatigue may also be connected to high levels of toxins in the blood, a sign that your kidneys may not be working as well as they should.
  5. Gum disease. Ever wonder why your dentist makes a full visual sweep of your mouth after cleaning your teeth? One of the things she’s looking for is any sign of gum disease, another warning that blood sugar may be out of whack. Bad breath is another possible symptom.
  6. Erectile dysfunction.  Obviously applying only to men, the inability to get or maintain an erection is another casualty of nerve and blood vessel damage.

Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you’ve got diabetes. They are merely something to be familiar with and to report to your doctor. Problems with tingling, numbness, or pain in your feet should motivate you to make an appointment with Dr. Wilhelm at our podiatry office in Centreville, Virginia. Call us at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.

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