Diabetic foot: symptoms, complications, treatment and prevention
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that can quickly affect the health of the whole body if not controlled, and it is one of the most common complications of diabetes around the world .
What is the diabetic foot and its problems?
It is a term that expresses a group of health problems that cause diabetes in the feet caused by an increase in the level of sugar in the blood and its effect on the nerves and blood vessels in the foot, and these problems and diseases that occur in the feet. The foot can infect anyone, but it requires special care for diabetics because it causes significant complications and infections that can eventually lead to amputation:
Diabetic foot symptoms
There are several warning signs to watch out for if you have diabetes that point to the effects of high sugar on your feet. You should go to the doctor and have it checked, these include:
- Increased swelling of the feet and legs.
- Discoloration of the skin of the feet.
- Burning or numbness in the feet .
- Loss of foot sensitivity.
- Numbness in the toes.
- An ingrown nail (ingrown nail).
- slow wound healing
- Cracks between the fingers.
- Blisters appearing on the foot.
- Symptoms of foot problems such as hammer toe, bunions, corns, and plantar warts.
- Hair loss in the feet and fingers.
diabetic foot complications
Due to the emergence of all these problems in the foot and the persistence of high blood sugar without proper foot care, as well as neglect in treating the foot problems that we mentioned, several complications can appear, including:
Foot nerve damage that can distort the shape and structure of the foot and toes, as well as loss of pain sensation from a neglected wound injury and cause infection and inflammation.
diabetic foot ulcer
The ulcer is one of the most serious complications as it should not cause pain, but neglect and failure to treat it can lead to serious infection and the risk of amputation of the foot in order to control the infection and limit its spread in the blood and cause it. Sepsis.
With poor circulation and nerve damage, ulcers and infections can easily recur and damage the tissues of the foot, requiring surgical amputation that can certainly be avoided with due diligence.
Risk factors for diabetic foot and its complications
Several factors can contribute to an increased risk of diabetic foot problems, including:
Treatment of ulcers and diabetic foot
Foot ulcers need urgent treatment, and the success of treatment depends on several factors, including preventing infection, relieving pressure from the affected area, using topical medications such as creams and ointments containing iodine on the ulcer, and lowering blood sugar levels.
The ulcer does not have to become infected and inflamed, but if it does, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics and topical care for the ulcer and wound, and the doctor will also give you some instructions to prevent the infection from spreading as well. The skin controls blood sugar.
Your doctor may also recommend wearing shoes, socks, diabetic foot orthoses, or compression belts.
Sometimes a doctor may surgically remove and treat the ulcer by relieving pressure from the ulcer and treating foot deformities such as hammer toe and swollen thumbs.
Preventing diabetic foot
If you are diabetic or have a loved one with diabetes, here are some foot care tips you should keep in mind:
- The first step is to check your blood sugar regularly to facilitate a home monitor and follow your doctor’s instructions about medications, a diabetic diet, and purposeful exercise.
- wash your feet daily with warm water and a mild soap; You can test the water temperature with your hand or elbow because numbness in your feet may not help.
- Check your feet daily for problems with your feet such as blisters, sores, redness, or loss of sensation, especially if you have poor circulation.
- Make sure the skin on your feet is moisturized and protected from drying out and cracking.
- Cut your nails into a flat, non-circular shape so the nails don’t grow into the pulp.
- Wear appropriate shoes and socks that cover your entire foot, and stay away from open-toed shoes.
- Protect your feet from extreme heat and cold.
- When you are sitting, raise your feet to a horizontal level and move your ankles and toes several times a day to make sure blood is flowing in them.
- Try to quit smoking because it will affect the blood circulation.
- Be sure to check your feet during regular visits to the doctor.
Finally, if you notice any sudden change in the shape or color of your foot, or any loss of sensation, you should consult your doctor immediately, and you should follow your doctor’s instructions and not neglect the care of diabetic feet and their problems.