Diabetes is one of the metabolic diseases which are characterized by increased sugar levels in the blood and this can damage multiple organs such as kidneys, eyes, nerves and also blood vessels. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are affected with foot problems which further leads to other health hazards.
The areas in the body such as elbows, heels, rear of the head and the tailbone possess greater risk for pressure sores. If left untreated the tissue will die due to insufficient blood flow. In Health above 60, to the treat the patients under emergency condition doctor on call is available. Once the doctor is called for he/she will arrive and evaluate the patient and treat them accordingly.
There are several risk factors which causes the problems in the feet,
- Wearing of unfit footwear’s will cause foot problems. If the patient has red pustules, eruptions, corns and calluses or pain in the foot, he/she has to obtain suitable footwear’s at the earliest. But if the patient already suffers from flat foot, bunion, or hammertoes they must sport in the prescribed shoes.
- If the patient has diabetes for over a period of time and uncontrolled sugar levels they possess increased risk of nerve damage on their feet. Because of this, the patient will not feel their feet while walking or balancing. They also do not sense small injuries such as cuts, scratches and eruptions. Normal people can sense the stones present in the shoes and remove it. But diabetic patients will not perceive it and the stone keeps rubbing and forms a sore.
- Poor controlled sugar levels leads to meager blood circulation causing hardening of the arteries. Because of this condition the healing will be very slow.
- Any kind of trauma to the foot will direct to secondary infections or other problems.
- Several fungal infections of the skin or the nails such as Athelete’s foot which should be treated immediately or bacterial infection can be acquired. Ingrown nails in the toe should be corrected by the foot specialist.
- Person who smokes regularly has the risk of damaging their blood vessels in the feet and the leg. Due to nerve injury the healing is slow and leads to other infection and confiscation.
It is treated through stages and it includes,1. Debridment:
It is a method of removing the dead and damaged tissues from the foot. The wound is first cleansed with water and pus is then removed.2. Draining of the Pus:
The pus present is properly drained out to avoid any bacterial infection because antibiotics alone will not help in proper healing.3. Dressing:
It is the process of dressing up the wound appropriately and treating it with exact antibiotics. Once it is treated the patient should be very careful about healing of the wounds. He/she should not stress the foot as it may spread the infection to the other parts. But if there is no proper care the ulcer gets exaggerated and becomes gangrenous (tissues die and look dark). If it is severe then the doctor will advise for the amputation of the limbs.
- You need to examine the feet daily for small injuries. Light water based moisturizer can be applied daily to the feet to avoid cracking and dryness of the skin. Only cotton or woolen socks can be worn to have comfort. Elastic socks will cause improper circulation of blood.
- Eliminate any hard obstacles which may likely to fall and hurt your feet.
- Proper trimming of toe nails with the nail cutter to maintain good hygiene.
- Wearing of good, firm and fitting shoes to protect the feet. Podiatrist can be consulted to take advice on the footwear. Those who have flat feet, enlargement of big toe (bunion) or hammertoes (bending of the toes) will need to wear specialized footwear.
- Exercising daily would help to strengthen the bones and joints in the foot and leg and also enhances blood circulation and maintain sugar levels.
- Smoking should be stopped as it injures small blood vessels leading to reduced blood supply which increases the risk of infection and amputation.
- Control over diabetes by means of proper dieting, regular physical activities, and intake of medications on time, monitoring the blood sugar levels and communicating with the doctor’s will save your organs from the damage.
Those who have diabetes should be fully aware of the foot problems and any small injury also they need to see the doctor immediately and get treated. But always ‘Prevention is better than cure’, hence by controlling the blood glucose levels foot problems can be kept at distance.