Diabetic Foot Problems: Symptoms, Treatment, and Foot Care
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems because prolonged periods of high blood sugar levels can have serious complications on many parts of the body, including the feet. Diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease are the two main foot problems that can develop in people with poorly managed diabetes.
Diabetic neuropathy numbs the feet, which would reduce your awareness of wounds and infections. You would also fail to notice when your shoes are too tight or if they’re rubbing and this lack of sensation can result in cuts and blisters. The peripheral vascular disease causes fatty deposits to block vessels beyond the brain and heart and affects the blood vessels leading to and from the extremities like your hands and feet, causing reduced blood flow. This can lead to pain and infections and wounds that heal slowly. Both conditions can lead to an amputation, so those with diabetes need to pay close attention to their health so that they recognize symptoms and seek help.
Symptoms will vary from one person to another but can include numbness or tingling sensations, a loss of feeling, red streaks, blisters and other wounds without any pain, staining on socks, and skin discoloration. A person can also experience a fever, chills, redness, shock or uncontrollable blood sugar if an infection develops. If you have diabetes and experience symptoms related to an infection, you need to seek emergency treatment right away, especially if the infection is on your feet.
Treatments will be based on the severity of the condition, and there are both surgical and nonsurgical options available. A doctor will first attempt to treat diabetic foot problems without surgery but if these methods do not help, surgical treatments may be required. This may include the removal of decaying or dead tissue through surgery. This will be considered if nonsurgical options cannot heal your diabetic foot problems successfully.
It is very important that you try to prevent foot problems if you have diabetes, and the proper care will allow you to do this. Keeping your feet healthy is a must, and foot hygiene must be a priority. Checking your feet daily, washing them every day and wearing supportive shoes and socks can help. These steps will prevent foot problems from developing as will blood flow to the feet, which you can achieve by putting your feet up when sitting and wiggling your toes periodically. These will help promote healthy blood flow to your feet, so make sure you incorporate these steps into your daily routine.