Diabetic foot ulcers are open wounds and affect more than 15% of diabetic patients. Dr. Sanjay Sharma, a leading podiatric surgeon, spoke to Medindia about diabetic foot ulcers’ symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.
How Diabetes Causes Diabetic Foot?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that causes high blood sugar. Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the
insulin it does make.
Nerve cells and the brain require glucose for normal functioning. A decrease in glucose levels leads to nerve damage resulting in peripheral neuropathy.
The nerve damage is caused by chronically high blood sugar and diabetes.
Peripheral neuropathy leads to numbness, sensation loss, and sometimes pain in the feet, legs, or hands. It is the most common complication of diabetes. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy accounts for 60% to 70% of all peripheral neuropathies.
Vasculopathy and neuropathy are together called diabetic foot syndrome. The syndrome can happen not only in advanced diabetic patients, but also in early diabetic patients. The monofilament test is the most widely used diagnostic method for the diabetic foot.
Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Syndrome
Early symptoms and advanced symptoms must be well acquainted. Symptoms such as
- Unable to sense hot or cold
Thickening of feet
Changes in feet color and shape
Callus (thick, hardened layers of skin) is a precursor of ulcer
Myths Related to Diabetic Foot Syndrome
- Diabetic patients must not take their foot in the water
- Patients must necessarily wear diabetic footwear
Special Care for Diabetic Foot Patients
Foot taken in water must be well dried off
- Soft footwear is advised to wear
Treatment and Prevention of Diabetic Foot Syndrome
Amputation is the last resolve
To prevent diabetic foot turning in the advanced stage, get the blood test done periodically
Periodically get tested for Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Vitamin deficiencies must be rightly supplemented to prevent vasculopathy
Treat your foot like your face and consult the doctor to notice slight changes in feet.