The diabetic foot is a common complication of diabetes and it occurs due to the poor blood circulation to the inferior limbs. It also occurs because diabetes impacts the nervous system, thus causing numbness and neuropathy, the latter referring to the inability to feel cold or heat. For this reason, it is very important for those who suffer from diabetic foot to carefully inspect their feet on a regular basis in order to detect wounds or injuries that can worsen in time.
In severe cases of diabetic foot, the patient cannot distinguish a small wound from a serious one and this can lead to infection and leg ulcers, which can sometimes require amputation. This is why regular check-ups are essential for preserving the limbs.
If you have diabetic foot and you are concerned about your health, then it is important to keep an eye on the symptoms that may indicate a serious wound or injury, such as swelling of the feet, increased redness or persistent pain, as these symptoms can indicate either poor blood circulation or an infection of the feet. Also, it you have very dry skin that is prone to ruptures and wounds, it is very important to take care of it properly otherwise gangrene can set in.
It is not uncommon for those who suffer from diabetic foot to also experience various skin infections that comes from untreated wounds and injuries. if you have a sore or an open cut that is bleeding or produces pus, then this might be a sign of infection. Also, if the redness extends to the adjacent tissue, then the infection may be spreading and this can put your life at risk if you leave it untreated.
On the other hand, persistent numbness can be a sign of nerve damage that was caused by diabetes – if the numbness is accompanied by constant and intense itching located at the bottom of your feet, then this may be either fungus or a deep infection. Also, if you experience fever in addition to redness, swelling, pus or intense pain in the feet, it is very important to get in touch with you doctor right away.
The diabetic foot treatment varies depending on the severity of the condition as well as on the symptoms, but generally speaking a foot specialist will closely examine your feet and then recommend you an X-ray for the early detection of bone infections. Also, CT scans may be involved as well as they aim to evaluate infections.
Your podiatrist or foot specialist may also recommend you to take an MRI scan to detect deep pus and infections, followed by a Doppler test that analyzes your blood flow. Further tests may be required as well in order to determine the blood cell count and the severity of the infection, along with specific tests for diabetes to determine the blood sugar levels.
In some cases, your podiatrist may refer you to other specialists such as vascular specialists and orthopedic surgeons, if he considers that surgery is necessary for the care of diabetic foot. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat infections, but given the fact that the blood flow is affected and your body is unable to carry the antibiotics to the affected areas, surgery may be the only option to clean and take care of the wounds. Hospitalization is often necessary, especially in the case of deep infection. All the necessary treatment measures such as Angioplasty will be taken right away in order to prevent the amputation of the limb.