Diabetes is one of the leading chronic health conditions that affects millions of people around the globe. This serious medical issue necessitates proper management and care to keep a person healthy. Foot care is an integral aspect of diabetes self-care, as it can help to reduce the risk of certain foot-related problems such as nerve damage, infections, ulcers, or even amputations. For each person with diabetes, comprehensive foot care is so essential to avoid developing the serious complications.
We provide information on the different kinds of foot care available, how to look out for signs when caring for your feet and some tips to maintain healthy feet. Carry on reading to know more about managing your diabetes by keeping your feet in top condition!
The condition is caused by long-term high blood sugar levels, which damage nerves. Some people may not experience any symptoms, while others may experience debilitating symptoms.
The following problems can occur in your feet if you have diabetes:
-Nerve damage: This can lead to numbness and a loss of sensation in your feet, making it difficult to detect injuries or ulcers on your feet, which can lead to serious infections.
-Poor circulation: Diabetes can also cause poor circulation in your feet, which can result in tissue death (gangrene) and amputations.
-Foot deformities: Diabetic foot deformities, such as hammertoes and bunions, can further complicate foot problems and make them more difficult to treat.
Daily foot monitoring can reduce the risk of developing serious foot complications in people with diabetes.
Diabetes requires you to be vigilant in many areas of your health. This includes checking your feet daily, monitoring your blood glucose levels, eating a healthy and balanced diet, taking prescribed medications, and staying physically active.
It is important to take care of your feet and follow preventive measures to prevent serious foot complications such as infections. This involves self-examinations of the feet daily and professional evaluations once a year.
When you have diabetes, you may have difficulty feeling your feet or other extremities. You may injure your foot and not realize it until the symptoms are severe. If you have diabetic neuropathy, the nerve damage may cause difficulty or inability to feel your feet or other extremities.
Diabetes causes nerve damage. High blood sugar damages nerve fibers in the body. People with type 2 diabetes and diabetic neuropathy are more likely to develop foot problems each year. There is a 25% to 30% increase in risk for people with type 2 diabetes and other risk Diabetes causes nerve damage. High blood sugar damages nerve fibers in the body. People with type 2 diabetes and diabetic neuropathy are more likely to develop foot problems each year. There is a 25% to 30% increase in risk for people with type 2 diabetes and other risk factors, such as prior amputations.
The blood flow to your extremities such as your feet can also be reduced by diabetes. This can make wounds and infections take longer to heal.
Other serious foot conditions that may develop in those with diabetes can include:
By caring for your feet and seeking treatment for a developing condition, you can prevent worsening symptoms and more serious treatments like amputation.
It can include a general review of your feet, as well as specific reviews of the following aspects:
A doctor can develop a treatment plan based on the results of the test to determine your risk for complications related to the feet.
The best defence against foot conditions caused by diabetes is prevention, but prevention may not always be possible.
It may be possible to have fewer invasive treatment options if foot conditions are detected early. Serious foot conditions involving bone deformity or ulcers can be treated with a cast that protects the foot so it can heal. By distributing pressure on the foot, casts can help foot ulcers heal. As long as you wear these casts, you can continue to walk.
A doctor may also recommend specialized shoes to help treat ulcers. These ulcers may require surgical intervention, requiring the removal and cleaning of the affected area. Recovery can take several weeks or months.
An examination of a patient should include:
Foot examination: Observe the skin, nails, and structural foot deformities. Check the shoes. Note the presence of:
Monofilament should not be applied to an ulcer, callus, scar, or necrotic area. Apply sufficient force to bend or buckle the filament. A person who cannot feel the 10gram filament at the selected sites is more likely to develop ulcers. This time period should last between one and two seconds. Do not allow the filament to slide across the skin or make repeated contact at the test site.
Perception of vibration (tuning fork at 128 Hz): Place the fork’s stem over the bony prominences of the foot (the big toe and the medial malleolus) to determine if the patient can feel the vibration (tuning fork at 128 Hz). Record the results as present, reduced, or absent based on the patient’s response. Check at more proximal locations such as the anterior superior iliac spine and the tibial tuberosity if none are present.
Test by Biothesiometer: A biothesiometer measures vibration perception threshold (VPT) while the patient is lying down with or without their eyes closed.
Doppler: This procedure involves manual palpating of the dorsalis pedis and posterior tibial pulses in both feet. A handheld Doppler should be used to measure the ankle brachial pressure index (ABI) if peripheral pulsations are absent or clinical suspicion exists of peripheral ischaemia. A normal ABI is between 0.9 and 1.3.
Foot pressure study: Pressure with which you walk is analyzed and noted for the points of high and low.
Some of the potential complications include:
– Foot Ulcers
– Charcot Foot (A Progressive Deformity Of The Foot)
Therefore, it is extremely important for people with diabetes to take care of their feet and see a podiatrist regularly. By doing so, they can help to avoid any serious problems from occurring.
How can you prevent foot problems?
What to look for while examining your feet:
What to look for in a shoe
While buying shoes:
Buy in the afternoon or evening
Before wearing shoes:
Inspect shoes daily for
Toe nail care:
Generally, diabetic socks are designed to minimize foot injuries and keep feet warm and dry. Finding the right pair is a matter of selecting socks that meet your personal needs. Diabetic socks have the following characteristics:
There are a few things you can do to prevent foot problems:
There are many ways you can prevent foot conditions if you have diabetes.
Other practices that can reduce the risk of complications may include:
Diabetes can cause a variety of foot problems. The most common ones are diabetic neuropathy, which occurs when the nerves in the body are damaged; diabetic foot ulcers, which are sores that don’t heal; and Charcot’s foot, which is a deformity of the bones and joints.
The best way to treat any of these problems is to see a Podiatrist. They will be able to assess your feet and provide you with the appropriate treatment. A Podiatrist can help prevent serious foot problems from developing if you have any concerns about your feet. This may include custom orthotics, footwear advice, or wound care.
Scope of treatment
Taking care of your feet is essential for those with diabetes to prevent serious complications like infection, neuropathy and the risk of amputations. Make sure you check them daily, clean and hydrate them regularly, and if possible, see a podiatrist for advice on proper foot care. By following these procedures, you can maintain healthy feet and protect yourself from diabetic related issues.