A complication arising due to prolonged periods of high blood sugar, diabetic foot is a condition characterized by foot problems or injuries which occur due to nerve damage in the extremities and can cause ulcer and infection. The feet do not get an adequate supply of blood or oxygen due to the damage to the blood vessels. It may not seem obvious at first, but foot infections such as swollen feet are also a major effect of diabetes in a person.
What Causes Diabetic Foot Ailments?
There are two main conditions that afflict the foot in persons who have diabetes.
- Diabetic Neuropathy: People who are suffering from diabetes for prolonged periods of time may
develop nerve damage and loss of sensation in their extremities. This harder for them to
feel any irritation in their feet, which can lead to the formation of blisters, cuts and sores without the
person getting to know of it.
- Peripheral Vascular Disease: Fatty deposits can block the blood vessels beyond the brain and the
the heart which tends to reduce the blood flow, resulting in slow-healing wounds, pain and infection.
In severe cases, it may even result in an amputation.
Why does Diabetic Foot Occur?
The main cause of diabetic foot is the high blood sugar levels in the body, which has been found to
damage nerves. This nerve damage results in a loss of sensation in the feet and the hands. This, in turn, has
a cascading effect where the person is unable to feel any wound or irritation in the feet, which can result
in untreated infections. These, if allowed to fester, can lead to more serious complications such as
gangrene and/or diabetic feet swelling and can require amputation.
Another effect of the nerve damage or disability is that the feet’s ability to sweat is impaired. The
resultant dry feet causes cracks, which allows germs to enter the body. Diabetes can also cause the blood
vessels to shrink and harden, which makes it harder to fight infection.
What are the Symptoms of Diabetic Foot?
The main signs and symptoms of diabetic foot are:
- Sharp pain and cramps
- Muscle weakness
- Diabetic foot ulcers, infections, bone and joint pain
- Loss of reflexes, balance and coordination
- DeformityDiscoloration of skin
How to prevent the onset of Diabetic Foot?
There are some basic measures which can be taken to prevent this condition:
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control
- Follow good food hygiene
- Check the feet every day for any signs of wounds or infection
- Maintain a soft and smooth skin
- Protect your feet from external factors like heat, cold, rough terrain etc.
- Wear shoes and socks at all times
- Trim the nails carefully
- Avoid smoking
How can Diabetic Foot be Treated?
Depending on the severity of the condition, there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options available.
- Non-surgical treatment options include basic steps such as cleaning and dressing the wounds and close,
frequent observation of the foot for signs of gangrene.
- If non-surgical means are unsuccessful in curing this condition, surgical procedures are resorted to. This
includes removal of the dead or decaying tissue, amputation, arterial bypass for peripheral vascular
disease or an endovascular surgery with stents.
- The multispecialty hospital in Mumbai with special expertise in diabetes and cancer, and is a foremost choice for diabetic foot treatment in Mumbai. It has all the required infrastructure as well as skilled faculty to carry out surgical as well as non-surgical treatments for this disease.