Diabetes and Feet – Diabetic Foot

diabetic foot

Foot Care for people with Diabetic Foot

Diabetic foot is a combination of conditions that is caused due to diabetes.Changes in the nerves and blood vessels of the feet bring about a range of conditions when combined are called diabetic foot. It includes diabetic foot ulcers, diabetic foot infections, and diabetic angiopathy.It is a major diabetes complication and if left untreated, it can lead to foot amputation.

What is Diabetic Foot?

Chronic high blood sugar levels in diabetes damages blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and skin of the feet. This results in conditions like diabetic neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers, and diabetic foot infections. A combination of all these conditions is called diabetic foot or diabetic foot syndrome.

Risk factors to this condition include uncontrolled diabetes, peripheral artery disease, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic angiopathy (disease of arteries, veins, and capillaries).

Treatment for Diabetic Foot

Treatment of diabetic foot involves a holistic approach where all individual conditions like diabetic angiopathy, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers and diabetic foot infections are treated depending upon the severity.

This requires frequent foot examinations, tight blood sugar control, and treating coexisting conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and providing weight management. Apart from this, proper foot care, wound care, prescription of diabetic footwear, and medications are given.

Reducing undue pressure on the feet, prevention of ulceration, and prevention of infections are goals of the treatment. In cases where diabetic foot is already confirmed, preventing further damage is the key.

Prevention of Diabetic Foot

  • Diabetes control with diet, exercise, and medication
  • Achieving target blood sugar levels and HbA1c levels
  • Prevention of feet ulcers by reducing pressure on feet. This is done by wearing diabetes shoes and footwear
  • Preventing infections with proper foot hygiene and application of topical antibiotics
  • Frequent medical examinations with feet tests including plantar pressure distribution, and Biothesiometry
  • Weight management
  • Dietary supplementation to control nerve damage
  • Reduction of cholesterol to prevent blood vessel damage

It is important for both patients and doctors to work together and assess the situation periodically in order to prevent damage and avoid diabetic foot problems. Educating people with diabetes on the importance of foot care and motivating them to adopt changes are important aspects of care.