Diabetic Foot Care
Because diabetes is a disease affecting many parts of the body, successful management requires a team approach.Your podiatrist is an integral part of the treatment team and has documented success in preventing amputations:
- More than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated annually due to complications from diabetes.
- After an amputation, the chance of another amputation within three to five years is as high as 50 percent.
- Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation up to 85 percent and lowers the risk of hospitalization by 24 percent.
The keys to amputation prevention are early recognition and regular foot screenings performed by a podiatrist, the foot and ankle expert.
Diabetes is a debilitating disease affecting millions of individuals. With diabetes, the body does not produce insulin which is a substance required for sugar to be taken up by various tissues and organ systems. When sugar is not absorbed by tissues it circulates in the blood and ultimately can lead to significant problems including blindness, heart disease, kidney disease and multiple foot disorders.
HOW DIABETES CAN AFFECT YOUR FEET
NERVE DAMAGE: This is called NEUROPATHY. With nerve damage you will not be able to feel pain. You will not be able to adequately sense the temperature of objects. You may not feel if you step on something. If you stub your toe or step on a piece of glass, you will not be able to sense the amount of injury. This is because your feeling is greatly reduced.
POOR CIRCULATION: This is called PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE. Diabetes affects the blood vessels in the body. The diseased blood vessels have a difficult time getting blood to flow to the feet. You may experience pain in your calves when you walk. This is an early sign of poor circulation. Later signs include pain in your legs when you sleep and hanging over the side of the bed feels better. Your skin will increase in redness, become dry and tense, and feel cool to the touch. If you get a sore or open wound you will have a difficult time healing. Smoking when you have diabetes makes blood flow problems much worse.
WOUNDS AND ULCERATIONS: Open breaks in the skin are called ulcerations. Even a simple blister can lead to a large open wound. Difficulty in healing is a challenge as most people walk directly on the wound and cannot feel the wound. Dr. Bruschayt has extensive knowledge and training on diabetic limb salvage. She offers the latest advances in wound care and control of painful neuropathy. Furthermore, early diagnosis and intervention of various foot problems can be controlled with routine office visits.
If you or a family member are suffering from diabetes here are a few tips.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DIABETIC FEET
- DO NOT SMOKE. This can lead to circulation problems.