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Diabetic foot

2012-09-19 17:37

Diabetic foot

Diabetic foot problems are a major health concern and are a common cause of hospitalization.

It is suggested that a patient with Diabetes has 20 times higher chances of having amputation than someone with normal blood sugar control. The amputation is normally preceded by the formation of ulcers on the feet, however, rapid treatment can heal the wounds before amputation is needed.

Developing stages of Diabetic foot

Diabetic foot problems rise from two complications of the Diabetes: nerve damage and poor blood circulation. The lack of feeling and poor blood flow will cause a small blister to progress into a serious infection in days. Chronic nerve damage will cause dry and cracked skin, thus providing an opportunity for bacteria to grow and infections to develop. Clinically, Diabetic foot can be categorized into six classes:

Level 0:

Patients with Diabetes have one or several of the following risk factors in developing Diabetic foot:

☆Combined diabetic neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy

☆Peripheral vascular lesions

☆History of foot ulcer

☆Foot deformity, such as tanlon foot or Charcot foot

☆Combined callus or clavus

☆Vision loss or severe vision reduction

☆Combined kidney disease, especially chronic kidney failure

☆Lack of sensation

Level 1:

Ulcer occurs on the surface of foot skin, but without manifestation of infections. Ulcers are more likely to occur on prominent areas of your feet, such as heels, foot or foot soles.

Level 2:

Penetrable ulcer is developed, which is often combined with soft tissue infections. But no manifestation of osteomyelitis or deep neck abscesses.

Level 3:

Bone tissues are involved in by deep ulcers, and at the meantime there is often deep abscess or osteomyelitis.

Level 4:

It is manifested as ischemic ulcer and gangrene. Due combined nerve lesions, the majority of patients don’t experience severe pains. Infections may develop on the surface of necrotic tissues.

Level 5:

Ulcers are distributed to the whole feet, lesions are extensive and very severe.

Diabetics may don’t experience any obvious symptom at earlier stages, but as the condition progresses, they will find sensation changes, difficulty covering a long distance, intermittent claudication, resting foot pains or gangrene. Early detection and timely active treatment is crucial in controlling or slowing progression of Diabetic foot disease.

Prevention and foot care for Diabetics:

Never walk barefoot. Due to nerve damage sensation is reduced so that you may fail to notice little objects that have got stuck in your foot. This may result in severe infection if not detected or treated. Always remember to wear shoes so as to reduce your risks.

Wash feet with mild soap and warm water. Test water temperature with hands first. But if you already experience loss of sensation, you will need to use thermometer to check the temperature. Dry your feet with towel rather than rubbing vigorously. Be careful for drying between the toes.

Use lotion to keep the skin of your feet soft and moist. This will help to prevent dry skin crackers and decrease chances of infections. Remember not to put lotion between toes.

Trim toe nails straight across. Avoid cutting the corners. See a doctor if you find an ingrown toenail.

Quit smoking. Cigarettes damage blood vessels and greatly increase risks of amputation and other complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, heart problem, etc.

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