Diabetic foot is a devastating diabetes complication. It is one of the major causes for non-traumatic foot amputations in people with diabetes. Also known as diabetic foot syndrome, this is a multifactorial condition that is characterized by diabetic neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers, and diabetic foot infections.
Diabetes and feet – Symptoms of diabetic foot
Diabetic foot is a condition in which diabetic neuropathy, infection, and ischemia play a crucial role. People with foot deformities, peripheral vascular disease, and calluses are at an increased risk of getting diabetic foot.
Excess of friction, pressure, and not taking foot care in diabetes are causes for diabetic foot. That is why people with diabetic neuropathy of the feet are recommended to wear diabetic footwear in order to reduce friction and pressure.
Diabetic foot is generally categorized into two main types including diabetic neuropathy dominating the condition, and diabetic neuropathy along with ischemic changes along with damage to the blood vessels in the feet with diseases like peripheral artery disease.
The stages of diabetic foot are:
- Stage 1: Neuropathy is present but without wounds, ulcers, or infections
- Stage 2: Presence of diabetic foot infections
- Stage 3: Presence of ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the tissues of the feet)
- Stage 4: Presence of both ischemia and diabetic foot infection
Symptoms of diabetic foot include:
- Foot pain
- Symptoms of diabetic neuropathy like numbness, tingling, & burning sensation
- Skin on feet turning shiny
- Loss of foot hair
- Swelling of the feet
- Lack of perspiration in the feet
- Loss of sensation in feet
- Wounds that do not heal
- Foul smell emanating from foot ulcers