Diabetic Foot

Diabetic patients often have problems with their circulation, which can result in foot pain, and problems. If this disease is not identified and goes untreated, it can lead to severe health issues and occasionally death. This disease affects your kidneys, eyes, sense of feeling in your feet and the circulation to the foot.

What causes diabetes?

Diabetes mellitus can be caused by a number of factors. If there is a family history of diabetes, the chances of developing this disorder increases significantly. Overweight people are also at risk, since the body is in a constant battle with the elevated sugar.

With age, certain types of diabetes, such as type II (non-insulin dependent), becomes prevalent. Type I diabetes (insulin dependent), is more prevalent in young people. Beyond family history and age, race has also been seen as a factor in determining who is susceptible to diabetes – African Americans and Hispanics in particular are more likely to become diabetic than others . If any of the above  applies to you, visit your family doctor to discuss the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

Diabetic foot treatment

Diabetes mellitus treatment begins with patient cooperation and compliance. This disease can be severe – a strict diet and regimented use of all medication is necessary to keep this disease under control.

Depending on the type and severity of diabetes, some patients may need to inject insulin while others may only need to take oral medications to keep the symptoms at bay. At any rate, careful monitoring of blood sugar levels is essential since it will give the doctor and patient an idea of how whether or not blood sugar levels are in a healthy range.

Periodic trips to your foot doctor are also needed. Many diabetic patients have problems with their feet. If regular monitoring is not followed, complications can  arise. Ongoing patient participation is an critical to the management of this disease.

Ongoing care and prevention

Periodic care for patients with diabetes can range from a simple foot examination to more involved treatments. People with diabetes are especially prone to diabetic arthropathy (diabetic arthritis), peripheral neuropathy (loss of feeling), vascular complications, and ulcerations. The podiatrist will examine the feet to make sure that there is adequate blood supply and sensation. A decrease or loss in one or both can lead to infection and potentially more serious problems. In many cases, the podiatrist will involve by referral, other medical specialists to participate in the total team approach to managing the existing diabetic problems.

Many diabetics are seen by their foot specialists on a periodic basis for general foot care. It is important to keep your nails trimmed to avoind infection. This is important because diabetes impacts your ability to fight off infection. The skin of diabetic patients is also thinner and more susceptible to injury than people who are non-diabetic.

It is important to reduce the calluses to relieve pressure over the bony prominences of the feet. If there is too much callus build-up, the skin may break down cause ulcerations. Ulcerations can become infected and lead to more serious consequences requiring intensive care.

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