Diabetes And Leg Swelling: The Terrible Twosome
If you are diabetic, you need to worry about a lot more things like heart diseases and leg swelling. This causes peripheral edema in some cases and can be painful. If you see symptoms of swelling in your ankles, lower legs or feet, it is time to pay your physician an emergency visit.
Diabetes expand blood circulation in an inappropriate way, which can cause swelling in the lower leg region. However, there could be other reasons as well that would cause the swelling. So a visit to the doctor is a must. Diabetes is a serious disease which gives rise to many further complications swelling in the legs is one of them. Lets discuss a few reasons that could be contributing to the swelling and its cure.
Why Does Diabetes Cause Swollen Feet
A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can come from a number of factors but the main concern is diabetic leg pain associated with neuropathy. Although its origin can be traced to several different factors, it is still a very serious condition which, left untreated, could result in irreparable nerve and blood vessel damage and even amputation.
It is a common known fact that diabetes can result in poor blood circulation. The problem is that the circulation appears in other parts of the body, as well. The reason that the legs are usually affected more is a decreased level of activity and prolonged sitting.
Another common occurrence is a pooling of blood in the lower extremities called peripheral vascular disease. This occurs when there is a thinning of the blood vessels or an obstruction of the large arteries of the legs. This, too, can be associated with being a complication of diabetes and a lack of exercise and mobility.
Poor circulation can also result in neuropathy or nerve damage. This happens because blood is not flowing properly and the diminished blood supply eventually begins to take its toll. Once the nerves are subjected to extreme damage, they become damaged forever. Unfortunately, by the time pain is felt, some damage has usually already occurred. Thats why it is important that you contact your doctor immediately once you begin to experience tingling, pain, or numbness.
Best Tips To Treat Swollen Feet From Diabetes
Living with diabetes is more than taking insulin when your blood sugar levels are too high. It requires ongoing management to avoid potentially life-threatening complications, mindful eating, and doing what you can to find support and improve your mental health. When diabetes management isnt upheld properly, it leads to problems such as neuropathy, diabetic ketoacidosis, kidney disease, high blood pressure, skin complications, changes in eyesight, and problems with your feet. If you notice any changes to your body or start to lose sensation in your limbs, contact your doctor immediately. Certain complications can be fatal when not addressed immediately. When facing issues with your lower extremities, here are some of the best tips to treat swollen feet from diabetes.
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The Way We Live Now: 3
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The obese elderly woman shifted uncomfortably on the hard gurney mattress. ”She’s tired, really tired,” her middle-aged daughter explained to the young internist. She had to lean in to be heard over the alarms and voices in the E.R. Yesterday, the daughter said, they had a family meal. Then today, her mother called to tell her she had to go to the hospital. ”She couldn’t say why,” the daughter reported. ”She just said she felt really bad.”
The mother, her voice thick and deep, added: ”I don’t feel right at all. I can hardly walk.” The patient, who was 83, had some serious longstanding health problems. She had been treated for diabetes and high blood pressure for more than 50 years. She had sleep apnea and was supposed to use an air machine to help her breathe through the night — though she rarely did. Her biggest problem recently had been her legs. Even though she was on high doses of diuretics, they were twice their usual size. Six months ago, she was in the hospital for a week because of an infection in one leg. She had been on antibiotics a few times since then for the same problem. Despite treatment, her legs just seemed to get bigger, heavier, harder to move.
She looked ill, unable to complete a sentence without stopping for a breath. Her blue eyes were bright, but the large face surrounding them was pale and puffy. Her hair was thinning — even her eyebrows had receded to tufts over each eye.
Tips For Healthy Feet
Get to the bottom of any foot problems by using a mirror or asking for help.
Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other change to the skin or nails. Use a mirror if you cant see the bottom of your feet, or ask a family member to help.
Wash your feet every day in warm water. Dont soak your feet. Dry your feet completely and apply lotion to the top and bottombut not between your toes, which could lead to infection.
Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes and socks or slippers, even inside, to avoid injury. Check that there arent any pebbles or other objects inside your shoes and that the lining is smooth.
Wear shoes that fit well. For the best fit, try on new shoes at the end of the day when your feet tend to be largest. Break in your new shoes slowlywear them for an hour or two a day at first until theyre completely comfortable. Always wear socks with your shoes.
Trim your toenails straight across and gently smooth any sharp edges with a nail file. Have your foot doctor trim your toenails if you cant see or reach your feet.
Dont remove corns or calluses yourself, and especially dont use over-the-counter products to remove themthey could burn your skin.
Get your feet checked at every health care visit. Also, visit your foot doctor every year for a complete exam, which will include checking for feeling and blood flow in your feet.
Be sure to ask your doctor what else you can do to keep your feet healthy.
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When Should I See My Health Care Provider About Foot Problems
- a cut, blister, or bruise on your foot that does not start to heal after a few days
- skin on your foot that becomes red, warm, or painfulsigns of a possible infection
- a callus with dried blood inside of it,which often can be the first sign of a wound under the callus
- a foot infection that becomes black and smellysigns you might have gangrene
Ask your provider to refer you to a foot doctor, or podiatrist, if needed.
Understanding The Link Between Diabetes And Swollen Feet
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be prone to certain conditions that affect the feet, such as peripheral neuropathy or ulcers. You may be surprised to learn that diabetes can also lead to swelling, or edema, in the feet. Take a look at why this condition increases the risk of edema and how to treat it.
Why Are Diabetics At Risk for Swollen Feet?
Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas that helps your body’s cells absorb sugar. However, if you have diabetes, then your body may not produce enough or any insulin, so sugar can end up accumulating in your bloodstream.
These high sugar levels can damage your blood vessels, which in turn can lead to poor circulation. As you can imagine, when blood doesn’t circulate well, then fluid can build up in your feet and cause edema.
Ironically, some drugs-like thiazolidinedione medications-that can be used to lower blood sugar levels also have the side effect of causing edema.
Why is Foot Edema Such a Problem?
Besides being uncomfortable, edema may not seems as big of a problem compared to a foot ulcer. But edema is a cause for concern since it makes it harder for your body to heal quickly. This means that if you were to develop a foot injury, the edema could exacerbate the problem.
What Can You Do to Prevent Foot Swelling?
A change in diet can help you manage both your diabetes and your foot edema however, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor about your nutritional needs before taking drastic steps.
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Experiment With Essential Oils
Lower Limb Amputation: Why Would It Be Necessary
It is crucial to point out that not every person that has diabetes will require an amputation. Additionally, if someone with diabetes does need this procedure, chances are it is because of an ulcer or a wound on the lower leg or foot that did not heal properly.
Untreated wounds can lead to infection and gangrene . A procedure known as debridement is performed, If the dead tissue is not removed, gangrene will continue to spread.
Many times, people with diabetes have poor circulation, which can lead to peripheral artery disease . PAD causes a buildup of plaque in the arterial walls, and causes blockages to limbs and extremities. Extreme cases require amputation.
If a person has had an amputation and circulation problems continue, the blood flow does not go to the limb properly, and the surgical wound does not heal. In that case, further surgery may be indicated.
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What Can I Do To Keep My Feet Healthy
Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should include foot care. A foot doctor, also called a podiatrist, and other specialists may be part of your health care team.
Include these steps in your foot care plan:
The Link Between Diabetes And Swelling
While diabetes itself doesnt damage your circulatory system, high levels of glucose do. When your blood glucose levels are too high for too long, it begins to damage the lining of small blood vessels, thus resulting in poor circulation. When your blood isnt circulating efficiently, it gets trapped in certain areasespecially the lower extremities.
- Kidney problems
- Medication side effects
Since diabetes has a direct correlation to healing speed, you need to monitor any signs of swollen feet for ulcers, sprains, cuts, or other types of foot/ankle injury. When these are left untreated, infection can occur, which can lead to serious problems and in rare cases, amputation.
If you notice any signs of swelling, dont hesitate to talk to your doctor. In the meantime, you can follow these tips to help treat swollen feet.
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S To Prevent Amputation
Fortunately, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that as many as half of all amputations related to these foot and leg complications can be prevented if the problems are caught early.
Many measures can significantly reduce the risk of ulcer formation, including having properly fitted shoes, doing routine foot checks, not walking barefoot, and stopping smoking, says Tan. Properly fitted shoes and moisture-absorbing socks are important to prevent foot injury, particularly with diabetic neuropathy when one may not feel or notice an injury.
Here is a list of the most important things you can do to avoid amputation.
1. Quit smoking. The American Diabetes Association points out that if you’re a smoker, quitting is the first and best way to prevent an amputation. Smoking decreases the blood flow in the small blood vessels of your legs and feet, making it difficult for wounds to heal.
Having diabetes and smoking creates an especially high-risk scenario for amputation, says Matt Petersen, the managing director of medical information and professional engagement at the American Diabetes Association. In addition to careful management of diabetes with the support of a healthcare provider, smoking cessation is the most direct way to decrease the risk of amputation.
4. Be sure your doctor examines your feet at least once a year or whenever you notice a problem.
6. Don’t use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, astringent, or iodine on 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.
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Swollen Feet Are A Common Problem Of Diabetes You Can Stay Active And Try Other Measures Like Massage To Reduce Swelling But Talk To Your Doctor First
About 16 million people in the United States alone are suffering from diabetes. When your body fails to produce enough insulin or your body loses its ability to use insulin normally, you develop diabetes. The pancreas produces insulin to help process the food you eat. This in turn helps produce energy for your body to carry out different functions. You experience a number of problems when you develop diabetes it happens because the disease can disrupt the vascular system and affect the kidneys, eyes, feet, and leg. Other issues are also associated with diabetes. Swollen feet, for instance, are common for people suffering from this disease. What exactly is the connection? Let’s find out now.
Use Compression Stockings And Bandages
Compression products are now widely available for foot care in diabetics. They exert pressure on the affected area and help to get rid of fluid retention. Increased external pressure also causes the fluid to return to the lymphatic system and improves circulation of blood. A study by Wu SC and colleagues showed that use of mild compression socks in diabetic patients with oedema greatly reduced calf and foot swelling without compromising vascularity. & nbsp
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Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- the swelling is only in 1 ankle, foot or leg and there’s no obvious cause, such as an injury
- the swelling is severe, painful or starts very suddenly
- the swollen area is red or feels hot to the touch
- your temperature is very high, or you feel hot and shivery
- you have diabetes
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or .
A GP may be able to treat you.
Ask your GP practice for an urgent appointment.
Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin
Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:
You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes
Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted
If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.
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Lower Limb Amputation: What If Its The Only Option
Foot ulcer treatments can vary depending the severity of the wound. Generally speaking, the treatment uses methods to eliminate debris or dead tissue, keep the wound clean, and promote its healing. Wounds require frequent monitoring by a professional, sometimes up to two times per week.
Amputation could be the only option when health conditions result in a life-threatening infection or severe tissue loss. In these cases, a surgeon will remove the damaged tissue and will try to preserve as much healthy tissue as possible.
Following surgery, the amputee may be in the hospital for observation, and for rehab in order to help the wound to heal completely it may take from four to six weeks.
In addition to the primary care provider, who regularly checks on diabetes, the surgeon and other medical field professionals are also involved in the treatment plan.
Lets review this chart to see how each medical professional will play a role in the amputation process. Some of these providers may include:
- Controlling your blood sugar levels
- Controlling blood pressure
Link Between Diabetes And Oedema
Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when your pancreas doesnt produce enough insulin or your body becomes resistant to it. This leads to an excessive accumulation of sugar in the blood. This further leads to damage to the lining of small blood vessels, if left untreated. This is what causes poor blood circulation and accumulation of fluid in the tissues present in legs, feet, ankles. Also Read – Brittle Diabetes: All You Need to Know About This Rare Condition
Also, in diabetics, an injury or damage takes time to heal. This means a long-lasting injury can also lead to the condition. Gradually, a high level of blood sugar can damage the nerves present in lower parts of your body. This may cause numbness that makes it difficult to detect an injury. Also Read – Suffering from Type 2 Diabetes? Green Tea Can Help Managing The Disease
Here we tell you some easy and practical ways to deal with diabetic edema.
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