Have you ever felt uncomfortable by a sore on your leg? It may not just be simple discomfort, it could be a sign that you may have diabetes and blood sugar, which may damage your nerves or blood vessels. You might lose feeling in the feet and at some point may not able to feel the sore, cut or a blister. And if there is damage to the blood vessels, the feet may not get enough blood and oxygen. The sore or injury to your foot may cause ulcers and infections to an extreme extent that you may have to amputate your leg. So the first step is to protect the foot from injury or soreness.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
If you have diabetes, it is possible that neuropathy, which is a peripheral nerve dysfunction, can combine with peripheral artery disease (PAD), and cause poor blood circulation in the extremities. This is diabetic angioplasty. In this case, individuals suffering from diabetes are unable to feel pain. This may mean that the injuries may not be discovered for a long period of time. This may then lead to infections that are debilitating and may lead to amputation. A major cause of non-traumatic amputation among diabetics is due to foot infections.
Importance of Diabetes Foot Care
Infections have to be taken care of first in foot care as untreated infections can lead to gangrene, which again may lead to amputation.
Neuropathy induced by Diabetes may cause dry skin and dry feet crack enabling germs to enter the body. If there is nerve damage, it can lead to change in the shape of the foot (charcot foot). You would not be able to walk in comfort in your shoes. This will lead to friction and causes calluses and bunions exposing skin to germs.
It is important to look out for the following alerts to understand foot damage:
- Colour changes
- Hard skin
While one may be aware of the alerts for foot damage, there is a foot care routine that diabetes patients have to follow daily.
- Keep the skin soft and smooth
- Smooth corns and calluses gently
- Check your feet every day
- Wash your feet every day
- If possible, trim your toenails regularly.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times
Other steps to take care of your feet every day:
- Exercising every day
- Eating a balanced diet
- Periodic medical check-ups including foot check-ups and monitoring your ABCs (A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol)
- Monitoring sugar levels daily
Risks to avoid Diabetic Foot Problems:
- Avoid smoking. It will reduce blood circulation. The healing process of wounds will go up.
- Don’t cross legs for a long time while sitting.
- Don’t us over the counter medications to treat warts or corns on the feet.
- Don’t walk in the garden or outside barefoot. Wear good shoes indoors and outdoors.
- Use heating pads regularly or keep your feet for some time in warm water.
If you become aware of any of these developments, you should consult a doctor immediately as serious health problems could develop. The treatment of diabetic foot problem is challenging and therefore prevention of diabetic foot is better than cure.