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ASK THE EXPERTS

DIABETES EXPERT

Roy Taylor is professor of medicine and metabolism at Newcastle University and honorary consultant physician at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospital. He’s also the author of Your Simple Guide to Reversing Type 2 Diabetes.

Q How can Type 2 diabetes affect your feet?

A Nerves anywhere in the body can be damaged. Have you ever experienced a “dead-leg”? By sitting awkwardly and squeezing a nerve for too long, you can block capillary flow of blood to the nerve and cause it to stop working. If you are in normal health, the numbness will go away within a few minutes of relieving the pressure. Unfortunately, nerve problems in diabetes are not so easily reversed.

Numbness in feet is a particular problem because it prevents the body’s normal warning sign of trouble – i.e. pain. If your new shoes are rubbing, you will stop walking or change shoes. But if you cannot feel the pain, you will carry on walking while the damage continues silently. This

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