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What is the link between diabetes and heel pain?

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Quick Answer

Diabetes may cause pain in the heel and the rest of the foot through neuropathy, or nerve damage, due to chronically high levels of blood sugar, WebMD explains. Neuropathy is a common side effect of diabetes, but the pain it causes is not typically strong.

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Full Answer

Pain caused by nerve damage from diabetes typically responds well to maintaining a healthy level of blood glucose and good foot hygiene and care, notes WebMD. In addition to maintaining healthy levels of blood glucose, diabetics should control their blood pressure and cholesterol. To prevent foot injury and wear and tear, patients should make sure their regular footwear is neither undersized or oversized.

Diabetics should examine their feet for any injuries or scratches and should keep the nails trimmed neatly, advises WebMD. Applying lotion may help patients with dry feet, although the space between toes should remain dry. Patients suffering from claudication may require medical assistance from a specialist.

In addition to causing pain in the heel and elsewhere in the extremities, nerve damage from diabetes may also cause pain in the digestive system and related structures, including the sex organs, WebMD reports. This type of pain is called autonomic neuropathy, while pain occurring in the extremities is called peripheral neuropathy. The symptoms of autonomic neuropathy include vomiting, nausea, heartburn, constipation and diarrhea. Patients can help prevent autonomic neuropathy by keeping blood glucose levels within a healthy range.

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