People suffering from Diabetes need to take care of their blood sugar levels.
High sugar levels can cause damage to many important parts of the body such as heart, liver, kidney, eyes and brain. It can cause damage to the nerves in the feet causing a condition called peripheral neuropathy.
So people need to take extra care to protect their feet from infection. Damaged nerves slow down the recovery of infected feet and may further cause loss of sensation too.
A person who has damaged nerves may not realize if they have suffered any cut while walking barefoot across. If the wounds on feet are left untreated it may cause serious infections and may even lead to leg amputation. So it becomes very important for diabetic patients to take care of their feet daily.
Diabetes can be managed by taking medicines regularly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping a check on routine investigations such as monitoring sugar levels, HbA1C, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Following some simple tips like exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and taking care of feet can definitely help people from complications.
Diabetes can cause two problems that can affect your feet:
In this condition, uncontrolled sugar levels can damage the functioning of nerves of the legs and foot region. If the nerves are damaged the person might not feel the sensation of heat, cold and pain there. This condition is called sensory diabetic neuropathy. At times the person doesn’t feel the pain of cut, bruise or any infection because of neuropathy and later the condition worsens.
Poor blood flow in the arms and legs is called “peripheral vascular disease”.
High blood sugar levels affect the flow of blood.
If any person has an infection, then due to diabetes the person is at risk of developing ulcers or gangrene.
Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease and Peripheral Neuropathy includes :
Some investigations related to diabetic footcare should be done which may help in detecting the root cause of the foot infection, such as
Biothesiometry is a rapid, portable, and sensitive method to identify subclinical neuropathy and to monitor the progress of the disease.
Podiascan is a simple, non-invasive procedure that helps in assessing abnormalities of the nerves based on the plantar distribution of pressure.
Ankle Brachial Index test is also a quick and non-invasive way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD).
In some cases treating doctor may ask the patient to do arterial Doppler, peripheral angiography and nerve conduction studies for further evaluation.
Few simple steps should be followed daily in taking care of the foot in order to avoid complications.
Inspecting the tops, sides, soles, heels and the area in between the toes should be done daily. If the person is unable to inspect their own feet, it is advisable to use a mirror or can ask for somebody’s help.
If there is any redness, cuts, blisters or bruises observed, it should be noted down and should consult the treating doctor immediately.
Foot should be washed daily with warm water and mild soap. Due to diabetes it may be difficult to sense water temperature, so using hot water and harsh soaps should be avoided. It may cause injury to the skin so warm water should be used.
Foot should be kept dry as infections tend to develop in moist areas.
The areas between the toes should also be kept dry.
Use a moisturizer, any lotion or oil to keep feet moist whenever there is a feeling of dryness.
Lotion should not be used between the toes as there may be a development of infection.
A person should never try removing corns, calluses, warts, or other foot lesions on their own neither they should use any chemicals to self treat the infection on the foot.
Walking barefoot can cause sores and injuries leading to infection, so diabetic people are advised to use footwear to avoid any injuries.
In winter loose socks should be worn and the foot should be covered, kept warm.
Nails should be cut or trimmed in a straight so as to avoid ingrowing nails.
All these daily care tips will definitely help in avoiding complications of the foot.
Proper control of sugar levels, maintaining hygiene and health of the foot would help in keeping the foot safe.
Diabetic patients should always keep a check on their health with respect to vital organs and get yearly check-up done.
Do you find the process of getting examined intimidating?
Choosing a right clinic for the matter, Let us take care of everything.