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Diabetic Foot Complications

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More than 25 million people around the world suffer from diabetes. And about 60 to 70% of these individuals suffer from neuropathy that is, losing the ability to feel in the hands or feet. This means such people will never realize they have hurt themselves in their feet and suffer from grave consequences. Even a single scratch in the foot can lead to a complication that requires emergency amputation.

Let us learn more about the diabetic foot complications from the following paragraphs.

How diabetes leads to foot complications?

Foot complications can occur in patients with type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes and two reasons are accounted for, which are diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

In case of diabetic neuropathy, the nerves of your legs and feet get damaged as a result of which you are unable to sense touch or feel pain, wound, cuts, temperature, etc. Peripheral vascular disease leads to poor circulation of blood in your feet. Wound in your leg and feet is less likely to heal as cells do not receive adequate oxygen for regeneration.

Foot complications in diabetes

The main reason why you become vulnerable to having foot complications is – you are not aware that you have a wound as you cannot sense it. 

High blood glucose levels make you vulnerable to:

  • Fungal infection- Athlete’s foot, infection in the skin of your feet and toe nail
  • Formation of warts on the plantar fasciitis
  • Ulcers, blisters in your feet, bunions and ingrown toenails  
  • Hardening of the skin around the toe and below the feet, i.e. corns  and calluses
  • Deep sores, wound and ulcers which, if left untreated, can lead to serious complication known as gangrene
  • Muscle weakness can lead to bending of the toe, which is medically termed as hammertoe
  • Charcot's joint a rare but life threatening condition that destroys the conformation and circulation in your foot due to severe peripheral neuropathy

Conditions like ingrown toe nails, bunions and hammertoes could run in your family as well. This is mostly the case when people acquire diabetes due to heredity.

Diagnosis of diabetic foot complications

It’s important to seek quick medical advice on observing any kind of irregularity in your feet. Usually your doctor can detect the abnormality during your routine checkups.

He/she would be physically examined the wound, blister, ulcers, etc. and then advise you regarding a proper foot care regimen. Diagnosis also involves evaluating the severity of the neuropathy and peripheral disease.

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Treatment for diabetic foot complications

The first line of treatment is quite essentially a home remedy. If the damage is minor, then you can get rid of the cracks, blisters and ulcers with the help of a podiatrist.Anti-fungal foot creams are often prescribed by your doctor. Severely ingrown toenails, bunions, and other kinds of deformities might demand surgery.

Although rare, but in worst cases like gangrene or Charcot's joint, your doctor might need to perform an amputation of the diseased leg.

Can diabetes foot complications be prevented?

Diabetes foot complications can be prevented only with proper control of your rising sugar levels. In this perspective, you must follow the diabetes care regimen suggested by your doctor.

You should closely observe your feet every day for cuts, wounds, ulcers, bruises, deformities, etc. Take prompt action after consulting your doctor.

Make sure your feet are absolutely clean. You can go for regular pedicure sessions. Moisturize your legs and feet daily to avoid dryness and cracks. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid injuries.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: March 17, 2015

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