Diabetic Foot

Human beings are faced with various types of health problems if a person does not care about their health properly. Diabetes is one of the common health issues observed in people. It is a chronic disease that affects the body’s process of turning food into energy. It occurs when your body does not make enough insulin to make your blood sugar. Diabetes affects body parts, and some are even clearly visible to other people. There are about 422 million people around the globe who are suffering from diabetes, and around 1.5 million deaths are reported due to diabetes every year. Among the diabetic side effect, foot problems are one of the major problems that are most prevalent and dangerous, known as Diabetic foot. So, let’s discuss diabetic foot disease in detail to understand its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and related preventive measures.

Diabetic Foot

High blood sugar levels damage nerves and blood vessels, leading to pain, numbness, or tingling in the feet. A person does not feel cuts or ulcers; such wounds could cause an infection named Diabetic foot. Damaged blood vessels cause poor blood flow, hindering the healing process of a wound. Infection and poor blood flow can cause gangrene, turning the affected skin a greenish-black color. If the gangrene does not get better with treatment, a person may need an amputation. Damage area of the foot, toe, or part of the leg area needs to be cut off. Amputation will help to prevent an infection from further spreading to other parts of the body. Ignoring the early symptoms of a diabetic foot can cause severe problems for a person. So, looking at the disease, a little ignorance can lead to the amputation of body parts.

Probability of Diabetic Foot

Diabetic foot problems can occur in diabetic patients, particularly among those who have:

  • Poor blood flow in the feet due to nerve damage.
  • Uncontrolled blood glucose level.
  • Weight issues.
  • High Cholesterol level.

The people facing the problems mentioned earlier are highly vulnerable to getting Diabetic Foot.

Diagnosis of Diabetic Foot

To diagnose diabetic foot, doctors will:

  • Observe the patient’s symptoms and ask how well the patient controls blood glucose.
  • Check the toes, feet, and legs with various tools to determine whether the patient has numbness or not.

Similarly, if the doctor is suspected of the presence of an ulcer or blister in the patient, they will further perform the following:

  • Physically examine the affected area.
  • Recommend X-rays and MRI to check the area deeply.
  • Take a sample to test for the infection.

When should the patient visit doctor for diabetic foot pain?

If a diabetic person observes the below-mentioned symptoms, the patient should consult the healthcare provider as early as possible:

  • Any change in foot shape in any direction.
  • Any changes on the skin of feet like change to a wound, redness of wound, or any smell from the area.
  • Loss of hairs on toes, feet, or legs.
  • Numbness feeling on toes, feet, or legs.
  • Feeling pain, burning, or cramping in the feet or legs.
  • Change in color of toenails.

How to treat diabetic foot ulcers?

Podiatrists are doctors who are specialized in feet related diseases. Following treatment can be done on diabetic foot ulcers:

  • Cleaning the wounds carefully.
  • Draining of pus or any fluid from the ulcer.
  • Performing debridement process to remove dead or infected tissue.
  • Prescribing wheelchairs to avoid pressure on the affected foot.
  • Prescribing antibiotics to control and eliminate an infection.
  • Applying bandages to absorb extra fluids and help to heal fast.

How can a diabetic patient protect from Diabetic foot?

First, a diabetic patient should try to control his blood glucose level. Diabetes can be controlled by weight loss, daily physical exercise, and a healthy diet. If the patient is able to maintain the sugar level, then there are meager chances of diabetic foot.

You can follow the below mentioned preventive measures to protect the diabetic feet:

  • Check Feet regularly: Diabetic patients should check their feet daily. If any cut, redness, warts, or any other changes in the skin are observed, they must consult with a healthcare provider as early as possible. Never neglect any symptom; even minor symptoms can lead to a chronic condition in the patient.
  • Wash feet every day: Feet should be washed daily with soap and warm water. Do not soak your feet because it can dry your feet. After drying the feet, use talcum powder between the toes to soak up moisture that can cause infection.
  • Remove corns and calluses as prescribed by the doctor: Corns and calluses are formed due to the pressure or friction on your skin. Removing them in the wrong way can damage your skin. Do not shave them; otherwise, they can trigger infection.
  • Protect feet from heat and cold: Do not walk barefoot at the beach and use sunblock on the exposed skin. Likewise, use warm socks in winter instead of warming feet near a heater.
  • Keep the blood flow in the feet:  You should do some activity to keep the blood flow in the feet. Walking is a suitable option to keep the blood flow in the feet. Do not wear tight socks or shoes; otherwise, it can slow down the blood flow in the feet.
  • Feet checkup after a regular interval: Even without any diabetic foot symptoms, feet should be checked up by your healthcare after regular intervals to catch the hidden symptoms.

In a nutshell, diabetes is a prevalent disease in people worldwide. Diabetic foot is directly linked to the high blood glucose in the human body. First, high precautions should be taken to maintain the body’s blood glucose level. If diabetes is controlled, there is a meager chance of Diabetic foot. If the diabetic foot conditions worsen, it could result in amputation to avoid further infection. A diabetic person should take proactive measures to prevent diabetic foot.

References:

  • https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html#:~:text=Diabetes%20is%20a%20chronic%20(long,your%20pancreas%20to%20release%20insulin retrieved on April 01, 2022.
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21510-diabetic-feet#:~:text=What%20causes%20diabetic%20feet%3F,lose%20feeling%20in%20your%20feet retrieved on April 01, 2022.
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes-foot-care/faq-20461158 retrieved on April 01, 2022.
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21510-diabetic-feet retrieved on April 01, 2022.

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