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Thursday, 16 June 2011 19:53

Why it is Important to Take care of the Foot with Diabetes.

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feet-care2Diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by higher blood glucose level that results from either insulin deficiency or insulin resistance. The sustained elevated levels of blood glucose in the long run affects body’s immune system and damages the vital organs such as kidneys, nerves, eyes and blood vessels. In addition to these, foot problems, mainly foot infections and ulcers, remain one of the most common complications leading to higher morbidity and mortality in diabetics.

Diabetic foot patients are spread across the globe with major economic consequences for the patients, their families, and society. It is estimated that approximately 25% of diabetic population suffer from diabetic foot infections and 45 % of total non traumatic lower extremities amputation results from this.   

Healthy feet are flexible and strong, allow us to walk and run by supporting the bodyweight. The skin and fat are barriers to protect from infection entering inner pats of body. In diabetes, feet are affected in the two ways as mentioned below:

  • Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy)

It is observed that the high blood glucose levels affect the sensory nerves of feet and result in the loss of pain sensation that increases the chances of getting any minor injury unnoticed. This minor skin cuts will lead to ulcer in diabetic patients.

  • Thickening of blood vessels of the feet (Diabetes vascularities)

This will result from persistent elevation of blood glucose that will lead to reduction in blood supply and nutrients to the damaged part of the feet. This will result in delayed healing of the wounds and increase the chances of infection spreads to tissues and bones. If the infection is not addressed in timely manner, it can lead to serious complication and may result in amputation of a limb.

Diabetic foot care is must for each diabetic patient and following are some of the common ways by which individual can easily prevent diabetic foot infections:

How to prevent diabetic foot infection?

  • Control blood glucose level as it will reduce the severity of all the symptoms
  • Quiet smoking as it contributes to vascular problems and reduces the blood circulation of foot.
  • Avoid dryness of skin with the usage of specialized foot cream or oil
  • Daily massage to prevent foot problems caused by poor blood circulation and muscle weakness
  • Special supportive socks to treat circulation problems of feet
  • Consult the physician for the treatment of wart or callous on feet  instead of relying on over-the-counter approach
  • Regular nail care by trimming and filing of toe nails carefully to avoid any sharp edges, preferably after bath.
  • Wash feet with warm water every time without soaking in water for a long time
  • Avoid walking bare foot instead wear proper footwear neither be too loose nor tight. Wear clean and dry socks.
  • Patient should wear specially designed shoes and socks; it had insoles and enough air circulation to prevent skin problems
  • Inspection of feet everyday to observe any changes of skin and if discovered, consult immediately to your doctor for any blister, bruises, cut and areas of redness.

Diabetes foot infections generally treated on out patient basis and the treatment depends on the severity of infection. This will include simple cleaning and removal of dead skin for superficial ulcers and oral or systemic antibiotics for deep non healing ulcers. Serious infection involving deeper tissues and bones may need hospitalization.

It is observed that proper foot care can help diabetic patients avoid long-term complications.

Read 6603 times Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2011 12:31

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