Foot ailments are a major source of morbidity and a leading cause of hospitalization among people affected with diabetes mellitus. Ulceration, infection, gangrene, and amputation are significant complications of diabetic foot.
Dr. Ashok Kumar Jhingan, Senior Director, Diabetes, Obesity & Thyroid, B. L. K. Max Super Speciality Hospital explains about Diabetic Foot and how to prevent it.
He says “Diabetic foot is a common complication among people with uncontrolled blood glucose levels. Obstructed blood flow and unnoticed cuts on the feet may develop diabetic feet in people with high blood sugar levels. Early treatment of diabetic foot ulcers can often prevent irreversible damage”.
The foot complications related to diabetes usually occur because of either or both the causes:
- Lack of blood supply in the affected area
- Loss of sensation in the feet, due to which the person does not notice a foot injury
What are the symptoms of Diabetic Foot?
The common symptoms experienced by people with diabetes who have developed diabetic foot include:
- Numbness, tingling, and pain in the legs
- Loss of balance
- Discolouration of skin
- Blisters or other wounds on the foot
- Foul smell from foot
“People with diabetes experiencing these symptoms must not ignore them to avoid irreversible complications.” He added.
What are the possible risk factors?
Several factors predispose to the development of diabetic foot problems. People who are at risk of developing diabetic feet include:
- Those having fat or plaque deposition in the inner lining of the blood vessels that supply the lower extremities
- Those who smoke
- Those with uncontrolled blood glucose levels
- People having diabetic kidney disease
- People with long-standing type 1 diabetes
- People leading a sedentary lifestyle
Preventing the condition
Prevention is the key element in avoiding ulcer recurrence and amputation of legs with diabetes. It is estimated that 15% of patients with diabetes will develop a lower extremity ulcer during the course of their disease.
People with diabetes must take care to include the following tips to avoid developing diabetic foot:
- Check the feet regularly for any cuts or injuries and any discolouration
- Keep the feet dry and moisturized
- Always seek a doctor’s advice for treating any foot infection
With proper care and management, one can easily manage diabetic feet and avoid developing any complications.