Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by elevated glucose levels in the blood. This metabolic disease can spread the inflammation to other organs and tissues. It can assault the body’s nerves, especially in the lower extremities. This is called neuropathy. Decreased blood flow and damaged nerves of the lower body can affect the functioning of the feet. It can cause loss of sensation, numbness, and impaired healing of the wounds on the feet. This kind of disease can cause foot sores and ulcers to form on the feet that can exacerbate and cause gangrene. Understanding the relationship between the disease and how it affects foot health is important. Knowing how a diabetic’s body functions and reacts to infections can educate the patient and their attendant on how to care for diabetics and prevent further injury.
Foot ulcers that form due to diabetes are called neuropathic ulcers. They are caused by diabetic peripheral neuropathy, a situation in the body where the peripheral nerves are affected, and the body’s ability to counter infections is diminished. As a result of the impaired immunity, neuropathic ulcers are formed.
Another type of foot ulcer caused by neuropathy is ischemic ulcer. The body cannot distribute essential nutrients like oxygen and glucose to the lower extremities, so the body’s productivity and sustainability are affected.
The third category of foot ulcers is neuro ischemic ulcers. This type of ulcer is caused as an effect of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The sensory nerves of a patient are severely affected, hampering blood flow in the body.
How to care for a diabetic wound?
A diabetic patient is at grave risk of developing wounds that will take longer to recover. So, if you are someone caring for a diabetic or have diabetes yourself, it is of utmost importance to know how to care for a diabetic foot. The focus of diabetic foot care is to give the wound a healthy environment to heal. An antibiotic ointment and gauze should cover the wound. The dressing should be changed once a day. The wound should be checked for any drainage.
A sore or an ulcer will heal better if less pressure is applied. Patients should be mindful of that while going about their day-to-day activities.
Prevention is cure
The best remedy to cure foot sores and ulcers is prevention. Make it a routine to take care of your feet daily. Other preventions include maintaining a healthy life to safeguard your foot health. Abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol, maintain cholesterol, and check blood sugar levels.
If you are concerned about your or your loved one’s foot health, contact us at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists.
The foot experts at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists in the Tucson, Oro Valley, and Green Valley areas of Pima County, Arizona, have unparalleled experience treating all aspects of foot and ankle care. If you have any questions or concerns or want to make an appointment, please call (520) 575-0800.