Diabetes is a common condition that affects almost four million people in the UK.
It’s caused by the pancreas not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.
Without enough insulin, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy.
You could be at risk of diabetes symptoms if you have this tell-tale sign when putting on your socks.
Having unexplained pain when putting on your shoes or socks could be a warning sign of diabetes, warned Flexitol’s Advanced Podiatrist for Diabetes, Donna Welch.
The pain could be caused by peripheral neuropathy, a condition linked to diabetes.
Peripheral neuropathy develops when nerves in the extremities – including the feet and hands – become damaged.
Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include pain, tingling, or loss of sensation in the feet.
“Peripheral neuropathy is a condition associated with numerous medical conditions including diabetes,” said Welch.
“If patients are experiencing signs of nerve damage – numbness, tingling, loss of sensation in the feet – they are at risk of hurting themselves and being unaware.
“In addition, people with diabetes can experience painful neuropathy or hypersensitive feet – things that should not hurt do. For example, they cannot bare to wear socks or shoes.
“If an individual is getting repeated infections or have hard to heal wounds they should see their GP for advice, and be tested for diabetes as raised blood glucose levels can effect wound healing.”
All diabetes patients should check their feet regularly for injuries or infections, added Welch.
Any blisters, open areas or sores could become infected. Look out for areas of redness, heat or swelling.
It’s also crucial to check for foreign objects inside shoes before putting them on. That could include coins, stones, nails or drawing pins.
A number of people in the UK could have diabetes without even realising it, because the symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
Common diabetes symptoms include blurred vision, having cuts or wounds that take longer to heal than normal, and having an unquenchable thirst.
Diagnosing the condition early is crucial, as patients are more at risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.
But you could lower your risk of the high blood sugar condition by eating a healthy, balanced diet, and by doing regular exercise.
Everyone should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every week.