Diabetic foot is a threat to all diabetics. What exactly is happening and how to avoid amputation?
Diabetic foot is a fairly common complication of diabetes . This disorder occurs in 80% of people with diabetes. Usually a diabetic foot develops in patients with a “diabetic experience” of about 15–20 years. In half the cases, the diabetic foot ends with amputation of the limb. Moreover, two-thirds of patients with this complication die from gangrene of the leg.
The human body with diabetes is constantly suffering from hyperglycemia – high blood sugar. First of all, the walls of blood vessels (large and small) are damaged. This leads to the fact that the vessels become unable to provide the surrounding tissues and organs with the necessary amount of blood. As a result, the cells lose their portion of oxygen and nutrients and gradually die.
Not only blood vessels are affected by sugar. Serious damage is caused to nerve fibers. As a result, a person ceases to feel pain, temperature, touch and vibration.
Violations of the nerves and blood vessels are reflected throughout the body. Changes in blood vessels lead to problems in the work of the heart and high blood pressure. Abnormalities in the bones lead to osteoporosis and spontaneous fractures. High blood sugar creates high osmotic pressure, which is detrimental to the kidneys. As a result of damage to the small vessels of the eyes, vision is impaired. The skin becomes very dry due to a lack of nutrition, peels off, and ulcers form easily on it. We can say that there are no organs that do not suffer from diabetes at all.
What is a diabetic foot
The development of this syndrome is associated with foot changes caused by insufficient blood supply and nerve damage. Depending on the prevalence of a disorder, there are three main forms of diabetic foot:
- neuropathic form (60–70% of all cases) – the nerves suffer the most;
- ischemic form (3–7%) – vessels suffer more;
- mixed (neuroischemic) form (15–20%) – there are serious violations of the nerves and blood vessels equally.
Diabetes Foot Care
All diabetics are at risk of developing diabetic foot. They must know and follow the rules of foot care.
A diabetic foot usually develops due to the fact that the leg is injured in a diabetic, but he does not feel it. Therefore, the foot must be examined daily – first from above, and then from the side of the sole. Carefully check the skin between the fingers. To do this, it is better to ask for help from loved ones or use a mirror. The main task of this examination is not to miss the appearance of foot ulcers, corns, painful areas, bruises, skin lesions, and any other changes. The sensitivity of the foot to touch should also be evaluated. If you notice any negative changes – contact your doctor the next morning, do not delay the time.
Damage to the feet to be wary of with diabetes:
- accidental cuts, abrasions;
- fungal lesions of the skin and nails;
- blisters after burns;
- ingrown nails into the skin;
- bruising and bruising;
- foot ulcers;
- corns on the feet, toes.
The smallest damage can ultimately turn into a trophic ulcer of the foot, which is much more difficult to treat. With bacterial infection of the wound, the development of gangrene is likely, which is dangerous for the patient’s life. In most cases, escape from gangrene is only possible through amputation.
The main way to treat feet in diabetes mellitus is to lower the blood sugar level to normal numbers, and then keep it at these levels. They are trying to achieve this with a low-carb diet, using sugar-lowering drugs and insulin. Topically applied special ointments and gels that stimulate metabolic processes and blood circulation in the foot.
Timely conservative (non-surgical) therapy of diabetic foot allows avoiding surgery in 95% of cases.
With extensive purulent-necrotic lesion of the foot, the question of amputation is raised. To prevent this, scrupulously follow all the rules of foot care.