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Diabetic foot: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The diabetic foot is an alteration characterized by damage to the nerves or blood vessels that manifests itself in infection, ulcer, or injury to the tissues of the lower extremities of patients with diabetes mellitus. This occurs due to inadequate blood glucose levels that end up affecting vascular health, in addition to other frequent factors in these patients, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

This nerve damage causes loss of sensation in the feet, so it is common to suffer wounds or blisters in that area without realizing it, leading to severe infection and even amputation. At FastlyHealwe explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of diabetic foot to identify it in time and avoid significant consequences.

Causes of diabetic foot

It is important to emphasize that not all patients with diabetes develop this condition. To a large extent, the problem depends on the control and care of diabetes, its evolution, and the factors that can make it worse. For general purposes, with the correct treatment of the disease, this alteration should not occur; however, it is considered that it ends up appearing in 15% of people with diabetes.

This problem appears due to the action of the following pathologies:

  • Vasculopathy: arterial insufficiency is common in diabetes due to the damage to the blood vessels that the disease causes and often leads to ischemia or tissue distress. The arterial circulation in the feet is affected by its distance from the heart, weakening its tissues.
  • Peripheral neuropathy: The damage that diabetes produces in the nerves also causes diabetic foot. The disease causes the nerves responsible for stimulating and controlling the muscles of the extremities to be affected, reducing sensitivity and atrophying the forces.
  • Infection: the ulcers and cracks in the feet of the person with diabetes tend to be aggravated due to the lack of blood supply and the deterioration of the immune system, leading to severe infections both in the skin and tissue and in the bones or arteries.

Diabetic foot symptoms

Patients with diabetes must be aware of the signs that reveal the presence of this problem to identify it in time and treat it as soon as possible. The symptoms of diabetic foot are usually:

  • Cramps that get worse at night, paresthesias, and sometimes intense pain makes any friction annoying.
  • Loss of vibrational sensitivity and the muscles themselves.
  • Hypoaesthesia has decreased sensitivity that allows suffering injuries without the patient noticing.
  • Muscle atrophy or growth defect that varies the static of the foot as the points of support.
  • Reduction of tropism, that is, of tissue nutrition, favoring the appearance of ulcers and wounds.
  • The appearance of deformities in the foot due to the loss of muscle control also favors friction and its complications.

If you have diabetes and detect one or more of these signs, it is essential to visit your doctor as soon as possible for a complete evaluation.

Diabetic foot treatment

Treatment will vary depending on the degree of foot ulceration and, therefore, the objective of the foot. It is important to remember that this condition always requires medical supervision.

  • When there is no injury, the treatment is aimed at prevention. Therefore a series of measures are recommended to avoid the appearance of diabetic foot, such as proper foot hygiene that includes a good washing and thorough drying of the area. Especially between the toes to prevent foot fungus, glycemic control, good hydration, taking care of the nails to prevent them from ingrown, or the use of comfortable, comprehensive, and unique footwear that allows the foot is comfortable, thus avoiding possible injuries.
  • Before the appearance of a superficial ulcer, the treatment will aim to relieve the pressure on the area by resting and avoiding supporting the foot. The ulcer must be cared for correctly, removing calluses around it to prevent infection and ensure rapid healing.
  • Faced with a deeper ulcer that presents an illness, treatment with antibiotics will be chosen. The removal of dead tissues and topical healing will be essential. Depending on the case, hospitalization may be recommended, and the use of orthotics or casts is often recommended to reduce irritation to the area. If the infection is intense, surgical intervention may be required.
  • If the condition becomes severe and leads to gangrene, spreading throughout the limb, amputation will be necessary.

Tips to prevent diabetic foot

If you have diabetes, there is no doubt that prevention is essential; that is why at FastlyHealwe recommend:

  • Take reasonable control of your sugar levels and follow all medical recommendations to keep this disease at bay.
  • Check feet daily to detect loss of sensation or any significant injuries that need to be addressed.
  • It is recommended to visit a podiatrist every six months to thoroughly review the condition of the feet and detect any abnormalities.
  • Choose comfortable and suitable footwear for your condition. You must choose a last that manages to cushion your movements and that you opt for models with the appropriate width to allow correct blood circulation to the area and avoid injuries that can become complicated.
  • Getting a professional pedicure is a great option to prevent ingrown nails and causing damage to the area.

Remember that it is essential to take utmost care of yourself to prevent the complications of diabetes from attacking your health.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Diabetic foot: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Bones, Joints, and Muscles.

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