Diabetes is a widespread disease that affects millions of people worldwide. When left untreated, this disorder can lead to severe health issues, such as foot ulcers, infections, and neuropathy, resulting in disability, amputation, and even death. The Heart Vascular and Leg Center team offers personalized Bakersfield diabetic foot care to prevent severe complications and improve your quality of life.
Foot complications associated with diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that interferes with your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Extremely high blood sugar levels can cause damage to various organs in your body, including your feet. Diabetic foot complications can range from mild to severe, depending on your blood sugar levels. The most prevalent foot complications associated with diabetes include neuropathy, ulcers, and infections.
Neuropathy is a condition which damages the nerves that carry sensation to your feet. You may experience tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in your feet, making you more susceptible to injuries or trauma. When foot ulcers become infected, they can cause more severe complications such as gangrene or amputation. High blood sugar levels can also weaken your immune system increasing your vulnerability to foot infections and, in severe cases, amputation or even death.
When to seek medical attention
You should seek medical help if you notice any signs of foot problems, such as cuts, blisters, sores, or changes in skin color or temperature. These may be signs of underlying neuropathy, poor circulation, or other foot complications requiring prompt attention. Additionally, you should inform your doctor if you experience any pain, tingling, or numbness in your feet or if you notice any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or drainage from a wound. These symptoms may indicate the development of an ulcer or infection, which can spread quickly and lead to serious complications if left untreated. Early detection and prompt treatment are crucial for preventing the progression of foot problems and minimizing your risk of amputation.
How to prevent diabetic foot problems
Proper foot hygiene, daily inspection of feet, and wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes are the best ways to prevent foot problems. Your doctor may recommend washing your feet daily with mild soap and lukewarm water and drying them thoroughly. They may also advise against soaking your feet in water for too long. You should also inspect your feet daily for any cuts, blisters, or sores and report any changes to your healthcare provider. Your provider may also recommend wearing comfortable shoes that provide adequate support and do not cause any pressure or friction on your feet. Avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption can also help prevent diabetic foot problems by
Maintaining good blood sugar control is also essential for preventing diabetic foot problems. Elevated blood sugar levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in your feet, elevating your risk of neuropathy and poor circulation. Your provider can help you develop a healthy diet and exercise plan to help maintain good blood sugar control and improve circulation.
If you have diabetic foot problems, call the Heart Vascular and Leg Center office for treatment and advice on preventive measures for foot problems.