Diabetic foot as the name indicates is a condition of the foot found in diabetic patients. This condition involves formation of one or more ulcers in the foot due to nerve and tissue damage. The ulcers are usually formed in between the toes or on the heels. Diabetic foot can be a very painful condition and can take a long time to heal.
There is no room for carelessness when it comes to the treatment of the diabetic foot as the ulcers can spread and in severe cases the whole foot might get infected leading to an amputation. Diabetic foot always start with minor injuries and sores, so timely precautions can help avoid the problem overall. In this article, we break down the symptoms for the diabetic foot and some tips to avoid and treat it.
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What are the causes of the diabetic foot?
People with diabetes have high levels of blood sugar and if not managed properly this high blood sugar can lead to nerve damage. Nerves are the base of the sensory mechanism in our body. We can feel pain or any sensation for that matter through the nerves. When the nerves are damaged in any part of the body then ‘feeling’ is lost in that part of the body and one is unable to experience pain. When foot nerves are damaged in diabetic patients, then small injuries can go unnoticed until they are developed into full-fledged wounds. These wounds can turn into ulcers especially if the blood sugar levels are not controlled.
Diabetic foot is a serious condition as it puts an important organ like foot at risk. The first step in its treatment is to see a diabetologist and get your daily dose of diabetic medication moderated. Following are some treatment courses that can be taken under the supervision of a doctor for diabetic foot.
Foot wear: The time span of the healing process highly depends upon patient’s foot wear. A tight shoe or a shoe with a hard sole can worsen the wounds. To aid the process of healing, the doctor might recommend a foot brace, a soft foot insert or a special diabetic shoe.
Avoiding infection: The infection of wound is to be avoided at all costs. An infected wound is more likely to spread and can also become the cause of an amputation. Infected wounds of the diabetic foot can also cause inflammatory reactions such as high fever, thus complicating the problem. To avoid infections, the doctors use different tools such as baths, enzyme treatment and dressings containing anti-bacterial gels and ointments.
Medication: Antibiotics are often given to patients that have developed infections in their foot ulcers. The patients are also kept on high dosage of painkillers to manage the pain.
Although there is treatment for the diabetic foot, it is still a very dangerous condition. Some useful habits that can be adopted to avoid developing a diabetic foot are as follows
- Always wear a shoe that is an exact fit for your foot and has a soft sole. Make sure that the sole is soft but not thin as that can lead to more pressure on the foot.
- Wash your feet and change socks every day.
- Make sure that your nails are not very long, as they may cut your toes.
- Keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and maintain a balanced diet to avoid high blood sugar levels
If you are diabetic and have a wounded foot, see a diabetologist at your earliest. You can also book an appointment with top diabetologists in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 to get directed to the specialists that can cater to your specific concerns.