Diabetic Foot – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Diabetic Foot – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this complication generated by diabetes mellitus. Also, Diabetic Foot occurs when a bruised or infected area on the feet develops an ulcer (sore).

Its appearance can occur when blood circulation is poor and blood glucose levels are poorly controlled. Any foot injury must be treated quickly to avoid complications that could lead to amputation of the affected limb.

Foot ulcers and amputation are frequent complications in patients with  diabetes mellitus (in this group, the risk of lower limb amputation is approximately 40 times greater than in the general population).

Immediate amputation-related mortality is estimated at 19% and survival is 65% at three years and 41% at five years. With that, in global terms, the complication of diabetes  known as “ Diabetic Foot ” occupies the first places among the main health problems , afflicting several countries of the world and causing great socio-economic impact.

The WHO (World Health Organization ) defines the “ Diabetic Foot ” as follows: “a situation of infection , ulceration or destruction of the deep tissues of the feet, associated with neurological abnormalities and various degrees of peripheral vascular disease, in the lower limbs of patients with diabetes mellitus”.

Causes of Diabetic Foot: Early recognition and management of risk factors is important to reduce the onset of severe foot ulcers and injuries. The main risk factor is poorly controlled diabetes , as persistently high levels of glucose are responsible for the changes that lead to the onset of Diabetic Foot .

Other important risk factors have already been presented: neuropathy, foot deformities and signs of vascular disease . All three can be identified through a careful physical examination of the lower limbs. Among these, neuropathy seems to be the most important in the development of the Diabetic Foot . About 80% of patients with foot ulcers have lesions in their peripheral nerves.

The use of shoes not suitable for diabetics also increase the risk of complications, especially if the patient has red spots, sore spots, blisters, calluses, flat feet, bunions or frequent pain associated with wearing shoes.

Cigarettes are another important problem, as tobacco damages the small blood vessels of the feet and legs, favoring the progression of vascular injury and hindering the healing process of existing skin lesions.

Symptoms of Diabetic Foot: The main symptoms of Diabetic Foot include:

  • Loss of sensation in the feet;
  • Frequent tingling sensation;
  • Burning in the feet and ankles;
  • Pain and stinging sensation;
  • Numbness in the feet;
  • Weakness in the legs.

Despite the presence of symptoms, most diabetics only realize the seriousness of the problem when a wound or infection appears that does not go away.

Diabetic Foot Treatments: Diabetic Foot treatment isdone according to the type of foot injury and its severity and should always be guided by a doctor, even in the case of small cuts or wounds, as they can get worse quickly. Thus, treatment may involve:

  • Taking antibiotic medicines;
  • Use antimicrobial ointments on the affected site;
  • Control diabetes through changes in diet, use of medications and insulin;
  • Change the wound dressing daily, as instructed by the doctor or nurse;
  • Avoid putting pressure on the affected area, avoiding wearing closed shoes or leaving the foot in the same position for a long time.

In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected area of ​​the skin and promote healing. However, when the wound is not detected early or when the patient does not comply with treatment properly, it may be necessary to amputate the foot or part of the foot.

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