Diabetes and Nail Fungus: What’s the Link?

15 April 2023

Noticing that you’re toenails are suddenly yellow and brittle? Concerned about the correlation between toenail fungus and diabetes?

For anyone with diabetes, fungal infections are both common and particularly concerning. Taking care of your feet and avoiding complications is simple, but it’s still important to understand how and why toenail infections could impact your health. Continue reading as we explain everything you need to know about the link between nail fungus and diabetes, as well as all the warning signs to watch out for. Let’s keep your feet healthy and happy!

For personalised health advice, contact our team at Capital Podiatry today.

Maintaining Your Foot Health

If you have diabetes, chances are that you’re well aware already of the importance of taking care of your feet. If not properly managed, diabetes can cause a lot of complications, including nerve damage and poor circulation. When these occur, it can become harder to feel or notice changes in your feet. Staying keenly aware of these changes are, however, vital for your health.

Anyone with diagnosed diabetes needs to monitor their foot health carefully in order to prevent potential problems. Book yourself in for regular checkups, wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes, and inspect your feet daily to avoid further complications. Even minor foot health problems can lead to more serious complications if left untreated – complications such as infections, ulcers, and even amputations. But if you choose to stay proactive and vigilant regarding your foot health, you can help prevent these problems and continue leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

Staying aware of issues such as nail infections, yellow nails, and other problems will help you keep your health firmly on track.

How Diabetes Contributes to Nail Infections

So, what exactly does a metabolic condition have to do with nail fungus?

Simply put, diabetes has a strong effect on the strength of your circulation. Your feet and toes are the furthest part of your body from the heart, meaning that they will receive the least about of blood flow. Circulation is, of course, vital to our body’s health in more ways than one! Poor circulation limits the body’s ability to heal itself from injuries and infections, meaning even minor health problems can suddenly pose a larger threat.

Weak circulation paired with difficulty feeling any natural discomfort associated with your toenail fungus means that these small infections can pose a significant danger. An infected nail could make you prone to a life-threatening complication such as a bacterial infection in the nail bed, or could even lead to amputation of the limb. Risks posed by toenail fungus or similar wounds and infections can commonly lead to leg and foot amputations in diabetic patients.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

The phrase ‘toenail fungus’ can make it sound a lot more intense and scary than the condition actually looks. Symptoms can be minor and difficult to spot, but if you know what to look for you should be able to spot it straight away. Any time there’s a shift in the colour or texture of your nails, there’s a possibility of fungal infection being the cause. You could also notice pain while moving around, as the infected nail may start to pull away from its nail bed.

Some other signs that your nails could be infected include:

  • White or yellow discolouration
  • Distorted or misshapen nails
  • Cracking
  • Brittle or crumbly texture
  • Odours coming from the toe

Taking Immediate Action

Timing is of utmost importance. While others experiencing minor fungal nail infections may be recommended at-home remedies before seeking podiatry care, diabetic patients require different treatments. If you notice signs that could be due to a nail infection, immediately seek out a podiatrist for swift treatment. Even if you just notice something slightly ‘off’ about your foot, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. A podiatrist will be able to better diagnose your concerns and provide treatment plans to respond according to your body’s needs.

Contact Capital Podiatry for Swift Fungal Nail Treatment

Never wait around to see if something gets worse. Fungal nail infections are among the most common conditions we treat down at Capital Podiatry, and our team is ready to help sort yours out once and for all. Contact our friendly reception today to book an appointment with an experienced podiatrist in Canberra, and let’s get your foot health back on track. Fungal nail treatments are straightforward and simple – book now, and your feet will thank you for it!


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