Top 3 Diabetic Foot ConditionsThursday, July 18th, 2013, 4:26 pm
Having a high sugar (glucose) level in the bloodstream for an extended period of time can create serious complications, such as foot problems, in diabetes patients. In fact, more than half of diabetics lose sensation in their feet because of nerve or blood vessel damage.
Those who have lost feeling in their feet may not notice when they injure themselves, and even the tiniest cut can lead to serious health complications for diabetics. Because diabetes weakens the immune system and slows down healing, even a small blister may lead to major issues like infection, tissue death, or more. Let’s take a look at some of the most common foot complications among diabetics.
Top 3 Diabetic Foot Conditions
- Diabetic neuropathy. Sensory diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage that causes a loss of feeling in the legs and/or feet. Diabetics who have lost sensation may not feel pain, hot, or cold. They may not feel even small cuts or sores, which can lead to the injuries going ignored and becoming infected. Another effect of this condition is the foot possibly not functioning properly because of damage to the nerves that help the muscles work.
- Peripheral vascular disease. This condition occurs as a result of poor blood flow in diabetics. More specifically, it affects the blood vessels away from the heart. The lack of good blood flow in this circulation disorder keeps cuts and sores from healing quickly, and may even keep infection from healing. If poor blood flow prevents an infection from being cured, you may develop ulcers or gangrene.
- Charcot arthropathy. A neurological disorder that attacks motor and sensory function, charcot arthropathy affects the signals between the brain and the extremities. Diabetics are at an increased risk of developing this condition, and may suffer through harsher symptoms if they get it. Symptoms may include loss of muscle, weakness, hammertoes, numbness, frequent tripping, and high foot arches.
Treatment for these conditions varies greatly depending on each individual case, how far a condition has progressed, the patient’s health, and how harsh of a disorder they have. For diabetics, it is important that they keep their blood sugar levels under control to prevent these foot problems, and that they check their feet often if they begin losing sensation in them. They should also be sure to contact a certified medical professional with experience and knowledge in this area if they experience any pain, numbness, or other foot complications.
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