- by Diabetacare 24x7 Diabetes Care
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- May 16 2017
Diabetic Foot and its Cure
Diabetes, if uncontrolled brings with it a plethora of complications affecting the eyes, kidney, and nerves. This nerve damage is the cause of the diabetic foot syndrome, which includes foot ulcers, infections and neuropathic osteoarthropathy.
Foot ulcers form as a result of broken down skin tissue leaving the underneath layers exposed. If not taken care of, they may result in amputation and even death. Foot infections can be both mild, treatable by antibiotics and wound care, or severe ones requiring surgical intrusion. Neuropathic osteoarthropathy is a condition referring to deformity of the bones directing towards loss of function. If left untreated, these conditions may lead to foot/leg amputation and in worst cases, even death.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of foot ulcers are mostly subtle. In certain cases, one might not even show signs, unless the ulcer is already infected. Below are some common signs, which call for a doctor visit:
· Foot injury with persistent pain
· Wound/Blister with an inch of growth
· Constant pain in the legs/feet
· Ingrown toenail
· Feeling of numbness in legs/feet
· Incessant itching
· Calluses or Corns on the feet
The most common causes of diabetic foot include the following:
· Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
· Diabetic Neuropathy (Nerve damage in legs)
· Poor blood circulation
· Wounded feet
There can be various causes, but certain factors increase the risk of foot ulcers and infections in diabetic patients:
- Dirty toenails
- Alcohol and Tobacco consumption
- Ill-fitting shoes
- Peripheral Arterial Disease
- Kidney/Eye/Heart disease due to diabetes
· Offloading: It refers to the reduction of pressure on the feet in order to prevent pain and ulcers. The use of wheelchair, casts, foot braces/wraps or crutches proves to be the most advantageous method of alleviating pressure. It is advised to wear properly fitted shoes, with clean socks and insoles to prevent ulcer development.
· Debridement: In this process, the doctor gets rid of diabetic foot ulcers by removal of dead skin, damaged tissue, foreign particles or infection from the wound.
· Medications: Even after repeated preventive pressure-suppressing methods, if there is no improvement in the state of your infection, the doctor will prescribe you certain antibiotics or anti-clotting medications for effective treatment of the infection. It is recommended to discuss the side-effects of these medications, before commencing the treatment.
· Surgical Methods: In extreme cases, your doctor may advise you to go for a surgery to mitigate your ulcer. Surgeries help subdue any further infection which might occur due to the ulcer and even prevent amputation.
As the population notion goes; “Prevention is better than cure.” You must keep your diabetes in check along with frequent self- foot examinations to avoid ulcers or infections. Complete awareness helps you deal with diabetes complications more efficiently. Regular doctor consultations can benefit, with feet examination at least once a year.
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