Diabetes: Symptoms, treatment and care tips for Diabetic Foot problems
Uncontrolled diabetes or high blood sugar levels can lead to diabetic foot problems, nerve damage and poor circulation which can cause foot ulcers, blisters, pain and foot infections. Here's all you need to know about its symptoms, treatment and care tips.
Are you having diabetes? Do you fail to control it? Then, you are doing it all wrong! Did you know uncontrolled diabetes can lead to diabetic foot problems? Yes, that’s right! There can be nerve damage and poor circulation, which can cause foot ulcers, blisters, pain and foot infections.
Abnormally high blood sugar levels often cause liver and kidney problems but do you know that it can also give a tough time to your feet? High sugar levels in the blood increase the chances of nerve damage (diabetes-related neuropathy) and circulation problems and foot injuries. Your feet can become numb.
Talking about foot problems related to diabetes in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Rajan Modi, Laparoscopy and Laser Surgeon at House of Doctors, said, “Those with uncontrolled diabetes are at a greater risk of developing foot sores, deformities and infections more easily. If one fails to get proper diabetic foot treatment at the right time then the foot ulcer or blister will get infected. In many cases, one may also need amputation (or part of the leg to prevent the spread of infection) and can even die. One with diabetes may also have peripheral vascular disease (PVD)which happens when the fatty deposits narrow the blood vessels by reducing circulation.”
He added, “The reduced blood flow causes pain, infection, and wounds that heal slowly. Diabetic calluses are also a common occurrence. Calluses are areas of hard, thickened skin cells seen on feet, and one will not be able to walk properly due to them. They can lead to ulcers and infections. An athlete's foot is a fungal infection that causes itching, redness, and cracking. Another problem is that the nails of the patient with diabetes tend to get infected due to fungus and may become discoloured, thick, and brittle. These foot problems can steal one's peace of mind.”
Symptoms of diabetes-related neuropathy:
According to Dr Rajan Modi, the diabetic foot symptoms and signs are darkened skin on the affected area, low ability to sense hot or cold, numbness, pain, tingling sensation, changes to the skin or toenails, including cuts, blisters, calluses or sores, discharge of pus, foul smell, redness, pain and discoloration of the skin. One can also get a fever, chills and even shock. You should immediately consult the best diabetic foot doctor in Mumbai after noticing the symptoms.
Dr Rajan Modi revealed, “Your doctor will examine you and then offer the right kind of diabetic foot treatment. He/she can clean the wound, drain the pus from the ulcer, and use a bandage or ointment to protect the wound, and quicken the healing process. You can also be asked to take IV antibiotics to deal with the infection. You will only have to follow the instructions given by the doctor and avoid self-medication.”
Care tips for when you have diabetes-related neuropathy:
Dr Rajan Modi suggested -
1. Check your feet regularly and report any abnormal signs to the doctor, keep the feet elevated to encourage blood flow there, exercise daily, wear loose socks as recommended by the doctor, trim your nails, and don’t walk barefoot as there are chances of an injury, avoid smoking or cutting calluses or corns.
2. Regular examinations are essential for preventing infections, amputations, and severe deformities.
3. If the skin on your feet is dry, apply lotion on your feet. Your doctor can tell you which type of lotion will suit you the best
4. Protect the feet from heat and cold. Wear socks at night if your feet get cold. Wear shoes at the beach.
5. Opt for well-fitted shoes that are recommended by the expert.