Diabetic foot

Diabetic foot syndrome is one of the most serious and common complications of diabetes mellitus. Today, the diabetic foot, the symptoms of which are described below, is one of the most common causes of leg amputation. But fortunately, many diabetic patients have a chance to avoid these dire consequences. True, for this they will need to make some effort.   

My legs hurt …

With diabetes mellitus, and due to a prolonged increase in the level of glucose in the blood, in the lower extremities, as in other organs, the vessels and nerves are affected. Simply put, they are “sugar-coated”. At the same time , pain, tactile, temperature, vibration sensitivity in the legs is significantly reduced . In this case, even minor injuries to the feet (cracks in the legs, minor bruises, calluses, abrasions, burrs, damage resulting from inaccurate cutting of nails) can provoke serious problems. The situation is aggravated by the fact that very often injuries are not noticed in a timely manner and when a person gets an appointment with a doctor, the disease is already at its peak. Once an infected abrasion is enlarged, treatment becomes more difficult. An infected sore causes blood sugar levels to rise, which negatively affects the healing process. As a result, ulcerative defects of the feet appear , long-term non-healing, chronic purulent wounds, osteomelitili, in other words, an infectious bone lesion, and finally – gangrene. If effective measures are not taken in a timely manner, this can lead to amputation of the legs.                         

Patients should be aware that the diabetic foot, the prevention of which is aimed at getting rid of calluses, cracks, as well as the correct choice of shoes, has different clinical manifestations.   

Two-faced Janus

Depending on whether the nerves or blood vessels are more affected, foot diabetes has two types.

Ischemic foot is a disease characterized by vascular damage. Such a diabetic foot has the following signs:   

cold skin on the lower leg and foot;

the skin becomes variegated / marbled / or pale in color;

the hair on the lower leg disappears;

a person suffers from pain when walking, and in the later stages of the disease, pain bothers the patient even at rest; 

Painful ulcers develop along the edge of the foot, in the heel, and on the tips of the toes .   

If mainly nerves are affected , then the disease is called a neuropathic foot.   

Its features are:

the foot is warm or hot to the touch;

stitching, burning pains in the legs appear (mainly at night, at rest); 

decrease, and in the future completely disappear, all types of leg sensitivity (pain, vibration, tactile, temperature). In this case, minor injuries of the skin, burns often appear;

on the foot, and especially in areas of high pressure, keratinization of the skin (hyperkeratosis) is observed ; 

painless ulcers appear on the foot . 

There is a type of neuropathic foot, when changes occur in the bone structures of the leg – this is the so-called Charcot’s foot (osteoarthropathic foot). Due to such changes, patients may spontaneously develop pronounced bone deformities, fractures, after which non-healing ulcers appear on the foot.   

If you have identified any of the above signs, urgently seek help from a specialist in the “Diabetic Foot” office. There you must be examined to determine the degree and nature of the lesions. It is important to remember that when a diabetic foot is diagnosed, treatment must be carried out under strict medical supervision.      

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