What The Foot Specialists Will Do
Theyll tell you your level of risk if you don’t know already. And together, youll agree a personalised care plan. This may involve treatment, advice about the best footwear and how to look after your feet.
Youll see them regularly and this will be arranged through your local footcare service.
Youll get these appointments along with your annual diabetes foot check. Its best to go to all of them. That way, youll get the best type of professional foot care and keep your feet healthy.
Blisters Corns And Calluses
Blisters, corns, and calluses are quite common in people with diabetes. But it may come as a surprise to you that these can initiate the development of a diabetic foot ulcer. A blister, corn or callus that does not heal even after a considerable time is very often linked with the development of diabetic foot wounds.
What Should I Do If I Have These Symptoms
If you start to notice any unusual sensations or pain in your feet or hands, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Theyll can do a quick test to see if your feet can feel properly. It involves your doctor brushing a soft piece of nylon along different areas of your feet as you keep your eyes closed and say yes every time you think you feel it.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform this test at least once a year to catch nerve problems early and help stop them from getting worse. They may also suggest that you meet with a foot doctor . If your doctor thinks you really do have nerve damage, they could ask you to have additional tests done to see how serious it is, but these tend to be more invasive and are not recommended on a regular basis.
Also Check: What Is Diabetic Retinopathy Screening
What Are The Signs Of Diabetic Feet
The main signs of a diabetes-related foot condition are the physical irregularities described above.
These signs will vary from person to person but may also include:
- Feeling excessively warm or cold to the touch
- A lack of sensation in the foot
- Pain or tingling in one or both feet
- Swelling of the foot
- Fever, chills or shaking if a diabetic foot becomes infected
- Uncontrollable changes in blood sugar level
Circulation In People With Diabetes
Poor blood circulation can affect the blood supply to your feet. When this is reduced, cuts and sores may not heal. An early sign of poor circulation to the feet may be pain or cramps in the backs of your legs when walking.Circulation problems can be caused by hardening or narrowing of arteries as they become clogged up. Common causes include:
You May Like: How Does Diabetes Lead To Renal Failure
How Is A Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treated
Care for diabetic foot pain may involve a doctor who specializes in the feet, called a podiatrist. Treatment may include:
- Cleaning the wound.
- Draining any fluid or pus from the ulcer.
- Removing or cutting away dead or infected tissue .
- Applying special bandages and ointments to absorb extra fluid, protect the wound and help it heal.
- Prescribing a wheelchair or crutches to take weight off the affected foot .
- Prescribing oral or IV antibiotics to control and eliminate infection.
Depending on how severe the infection is, your healthcare provider may recommend hospitalization. Sometimes amputation is necessary to prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
What Is A Diabetic Foot
Some of the most serious effects of diabetes are:
- The increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Restricted blood flow to the extremities in the body
- The damage done to various bodily systems, including the nervous system and renal system
With a diabetic foot, restricted blood flow and nerve damage cause the most harm.
A diabetic foot usually shows the signs of poor blood flow to the legs and feet, resulting in injuries that heal very slowly and that face a high risk of infection.
The problem is exacerbated by the numbness in the feet experienced by most people with the condition. They are unable to feel the full effects of heat, cold, or pain.
In people with diabetic foot, relatively innocuous injuries in otherwise healthy people can go undetected and develop into serious infected injuries.
Read Also: How Do Diabetics Check Their Blood Sugar
What To Do If You Notice A Foot Problem
If you notice any of the above problems, you should seek medical advice straight away. However, in the meantime, you should take the weight off your foot.
Contact your GP or your foot protection team immediately, and if they arent available, then go to your nearest out-of-hours healthcare service.
A small complaint with your foot can become serious very quickly if left untreated. For some people, a serious foot problem can escalate to needing an amputation very quickly, so you must not delay in seeking medical help.
Why Is Foot Care So Important
Diabetes can lead to foot complications, and controlling your blood sugar levels is the best way to prevent foot complications. You have a higher chance of getting diabetic neuropathy if you are not managing your diabetes well, so it’s important to take care of yourself!
To take care of your feet at home you can wear proper shoes for your condition, like diabetic shoes or orthopedic shoes with insoles.
You can also use foot creams on areas that are hurting to soothe any pain caused by neuropathy. The last thing you want is to walk around in excruciating pain because of something that could have been prevented!
If you’re planning on being out and about this summer make sure you wear good quality sandals or flip-flops when possible as well as always wearing socks. This will help prevent getting a blister which may lead to an infection since we’ll be sweating more than normal outdoors too!
Don’t forget to check your feet daily for for blisters, cuts, bruises, cracked and peeling skin, redness, and swelling.
Don’t Miss: Is Keto Diet Safe For Type 1 Diabetes
Take Care Of Your Feet
When you have diabetes, caring for your feet is very important in avoiding serious foot complications. Take care for your feet by doing the following:
- Wash your feet thoroughly everyday
- Dry them thoroughly, and dont forget to dry between your toes
- Moisturize your feet, but avoid moisturizing between your toes
- Keep your toenails trim, and use an emery board to file down sharp edges
- Check your feet for sores, cuts, blisters, corns, or redness daily. Let your doctor know if you find any of these.
- Wear moisture wicking socks
- Before putting your shoes on, check for sharp objects
- Wear shoes that fit well and dont rub your feet
While youre at it, avoid these:
- Dont walk around barefoot
- Dont soak your feet
Diabetes And Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid youll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy.
Recommended Reading: Psoriasis And Diabetes Type 1
Diabetic Foot Pain Symptoms
As you may have read in the news, the health impact of type 2 diabetes is climbing across the world.
Diabetic foot pain is quite varied but also very common. Care of your feet needs to be considered as part of your therapy by your doctors.
If your diabetes goes unchecked, it can cause a number of problems, affect your legs and feet, or sometimes leading to amputation. So catching any foot problems early is critical.
As a rule, the experience of diabetic foot pain can be divided into 8 different types:
- Peripheral neuropathy.
- Muscle and joint pain.
- Infections of the feet.
This video explains more about Diabetic Neuropathy and highlights how nerve damage and loss of feeling can lead to the risk of foot problems.
In this case, this type 2 diabetes patient ended up with sores on her foot that needed urgent care and support from her family and doctors.
Risks Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Approximately one out of seven diabetics will develop a foot ulcer. This is because diabetes can cause nerve damage specially those in the feet. Statistics shows that diabetes is a significant cause of stroke, renal failure, blindness, heart attacks and amputation of lower limb.
The risk of diabetic foot ulcers is very high among people suffering from diabetes. The most crucial risk factors for foot ulcers are, peripheral arterial disease, diabetic neuropathy and resulting foot trauma. Although there may be many causes of foot ulcers , some factors such as the points listed below can elevate their risk.
- Ill fitted shoes or use of low-quality footwear
- Feet hygiene inadequate such as improper washing of feet, or wet feet after washing
- Long toe nails without proper trimming
- Consumption of alcohol
- Nicotine use which can impede circulation of blood
- Older male diabetics
Don’t Miss: How Long Does Thc Stay In A Diabetics System
What Are Risk Factors For Diabetic Foot Infection Development
Around 25 percent of people with diabetes will develop significant foot problems. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, there is a high chance that you will experience a foot infection. However, there are additional activities that may put you at a higher risk of infection.
- Spending time in cold, wet weather. This can increase foot numbness and skin dryness, both of which can add to the risk of infection.
- Soaking feet. Diabetics should not soak their feet, especially in Epsom bath salts, as this can increase the risk of infection.
- Not wearing socks, which can increase the likelihood of sustaining an injury.
- Wearing uncomfortable shoes, which can cause blisters.
- Not washing the feet regularly or thoroughly.
- Consuming alcohol.
- Tobacco use, which inhibits blood circulation.
- Neglecting to trim or improperly trimming toenails, which can cause lacerations.
Diabetic foot infections are also more common in people who have heart disease, kidney disease, and eye disease . Older men are more likely to have diabetic foot infections, as well as those who are obese.
Diabetes Foot Problemsand How To Avoid Them
When you were diagnosed with diabetes, youve probably been told you have to take extra care of your feet and get them checked at least once a year.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes increase the risk of developing and/or aggravating foot problems. Cases of tiny blisters never healing and leading to not less than amputation do happen. This is a reality we all need to be well aware of. That being said, its not because you have diabetes that you will necessarily have feet problems.
First things first: lets try and understand why people with diabetes are more likely to have foot problems, and which problems were talking about exactly. Then, well see how a proper foot care routine, and sometimes a specialised diabetic footwear gear can help you stay away from most of these problems.
You May Like: Diabetes And Lower Back Pain
Foot And Ankle Doctors For Diabetic Foot
Our foot and ankle doctors at Cincinnati Foot & Ankle Care provide the highest quality diabetic foot care to our patients. We care for moderate-risk and high-risk patients and can treat the full range of diabetic foot conditions and complications. We love keeping our patients feet as healthy as possible. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our patients keep their limbs. For expert diabetic foot care, or use our convenient online request form. We look forward to your call/visit!
Treatment Of The Foot Ulcer Depends On The Severity Of The Wound
Don’t Miss: Once Per Week Diabetes Injection
What Are The Signs Of A Serious Diabetic Foot Problem
There are four symptoms you should seek urgent help for. These are:
For urgent care, you can contact your local foot protection team.
DONT MISS:High blood pressure: The warm red drink that lowers hypertension Sean Lock health: Comedian explains symptoms of deadly disease Diabetes type 2: Foot pain while doing two daily activities is a sign
Wise Things To Do To Get Rid Of Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Reach to a specialist doctor
As soon as you notice the symptoms of diabetic foot ulcer, consult a specialist doctor. The earlier you seek medical help, the less complex the treatment will be.
Your doctor will conduct some physical, imaging, and blood tests to assess the severity of diabetic foot ulcers in your case. Depending upon the seriousness, the doctor will suggest a suitable treatment option.
Debridement for diabetic foot ulcer
If the diabetic foot ulcer is diagnosed in the initial stages, debridement can prove to be quite successful in speeding up the healing of the ulcer. Debridement is an intervention procedure in which the doctor uses a scalpel to remove the dead and infected tissues from in and around the ulcer. Then, the doctor covers the wound with a sterile bandage and you can go home. You just need to replace the bandage with a new one at regular intervals of time.
You can also take help of home remedies for diabetic foot ulcers for relief
- Use aloe vera gel in natural form on the foot ulcer. This will provide instant relief from the burning sensation and irritation in the affected skin.
- A cup of coffee can boost the blood flow and bring an enhanced immune response from the body against the foot ulcer.
- Dandelion root powder, fenugreek, and garlic can cure skin infections, including diabetic foot ulcers.
Don’t Miss: Does One High A1c Mean Diabetes
Check Your Feet Every Day
You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet. Checking your feet each day will help you spot problems early before they get worse. A good way to remember is to check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes. Also check between your toes. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, try using a mirror to see them, or ask someone else to look at your feet.
Look for problems such as
- cuts, sores, or red spots
- swelling or fluid-filled blisters
- ingrown toenails, in which the edge of your nail grows into your skin
- corns or calluses, which are spots of rough skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot
- plantar warts, which are flesh-colored growths on the bottom of the feet
- athletes foot
- warm spots
If you have certain foot problems that make it more likely you will develop a sore on your foot, your doctor may recommend taking the temperature of the skin on different parts of your feet. A hot spot can be the first sign that a blister or an ulcer is starting.
Cover a blister, cut, or sore with a bandage. Smooth corns and calluses as explained below.
Evaluating The Patient The Wound And The Infection
Diabetic patients may develop many types of foot wounds, any of which can become infected. Infection should be diagnosed clinically on the basis of the presence of purulent secretions or at least 2 of the cardinal manifestations of inflammation not all ulcers are infected . Curing an infection often contributes to, but is not defined by, healing of an ulcer. Management of diabetic foot infections involves evaluating and determining the severity of infection as the basis for selecting the appropriate approach to treatment . The issue of osteomyelitis is particularly complex and problematic and is thus dealt with separately.
Algorithm 1, part 1: approach to treating a diabetic patient with a foot wound
Evaluation of the infection should occur at 3 levels, as outlined in tables and : the patient as a whole, the affected limb or foot, and the infected wound. The goal is to determine the clinical extent and the microbial etiology of the infection, the biology or pathogenesis of the wound, any contribution of altered foot biomechanics to the cause of the wound , any contribution of vascular disease, and the presence of any systemic consequences of infection. Clinicians lacking the skills or experience to conduct any of these assessments should seek appropriate consultation.
Collection of soft-tissue specimens from an infected diabetic foot for culture.
Also Check: Do I Need Prescription For Insulin
Diabetic Foot Symptoms Pictures
Lets consider the common diabetic foot symptoms . There are two main directions where disease develops. It causes nerve damage and as a result a physician diagnoses diabetic neuropathy, coming out in opposite symptoms: pain and tingling or inability to feel feet. The latter is rather dangerous as far as a patient can fail to notice a wound, which usually leads to diabetic leg ulcers with high probability of further complications like infection, gangrene and amputation.
Also the statistics says that a third of people with high blood sugar can catch diabetic foot fungus invading the skin and bottom of the feet being difficult to heal. If one leaves it untreated the consequences can be serious. Another problem is diabetic foot blisters appearing from nowhere at a single or several locations and treated successfully in two or five weeks keeping level of sugar under control.