Diabetics must take special care of their feet to avoid ulcers.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetic patients contend with a number of complications, including skin infections, glaucoma and, in some cases, kidney damage. Diabetic foot ulcers are especially common, affecting about 15 percent of all patients, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Despite those figures, these specific ulcers are easy to manage. All it takes is the right understanding and a few specialized forms of treatment.
Proper foot care is of the utmost importance for diabetic patients.
Diabetic patients face a number of painful side effects. The more common ailment is foot ulcers, in which skin in and around the toes begins to crack and tear, leading to pain and the risk of infection. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, somewhere between 14 percent and 24 percent of all diabetic patients will develop foot ulcers. Not only that, but as the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Effective Health Care Program pointed out, foot ulcers can double the costs usually associated with diabetes management.
It’s important that clinicians have the proper medical equipment to treat obese patients.
Obesity is a fact of life for many Americans. With over a third of adults in the United States being obese, it’s a health concern that most people will have to deal with, whether they’re obese themselves or a loved one is. For many obese patients, going to the doctor is excruciating and embarrassing, and this keeps them from seeking out proper wound care or medical care.
Diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation.
Diabetic foot ulcers are fairly common, with between 15 and 25 percent of those with the condition experiencing them, according to the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. However, they can also be extremely complex, chronic wounds that take a long time and a lot of attention to heal. In the worst cases, diabetic foot ulcers can lead to amputation. As such, diabetics and their medical providers need to be on top of foot health. Here, we’ll examine some things people with diabetes can do to prevent foot ulcers.
Understand diabetic neuropathy
One major reason people with diabetes are susceptible to ulcers and other wounds on their feet is diabetic neuropathy. This condition causes your feet to become numb, which means you may not even notice when something is hurting you. This can be very dangerous, as a variety of factors combine to put you at risk for wounds that can worsen significantly if they are not immediately treated. You may not feel wounds or burns on your feet, so you will need to do a thorough check of your feet every day to see whether there are any wounds. Try to do this at the same time each day, perhaps in the shower or right before bed. Remember that there could be a serious problem you will not feel, so act accordingly.
Do what you can to improve circulation
Diabetic foot ulcers are also related to poor circulation due to a variety of causes, from arterial diseases to poor nutrition and smoking. If at all possible, it is a great idea to address these causes. You can do a variety of things to improve circulation, from adhering to your diabetes treatment regimen to quitting smoking, even if your circulation will remain less than ideal after the improvement. Getting better by any amount can decrease your risk for complications.
Treat your feet well
Another way to prevent ulcers and the wound care they require is to take care of your feet. You should cut your nails straight across to prevent ingrown toenails, keep your feet clean and moisturize them, treat any small injuries and athlete’s foot immediately and seek proper treatment for any issues you discover during routine foot checks. According to American Family Physician, these are just some of the things you can do to keep your feet healthy.
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Make sure to check your feet for wounds regularly.
When you have diabetes, any wound can be a serious one, as elevated blood glucose levels can make healing more difficult and lead to infection. First of all, it’s important to know what a wound really is – it’s any break in your skin. Whether it’s deep or not, broken skin is a wound. There are many types, like pressure ulcers, traumatic wounds, surgery scars and more. However, perhaps the most common type for people with diabetes is diabetic or neuropathic ulcers, usually on the feet or lower extremities. These wounds happen because of neuropathy, which means you lose the ability to process sensations in these areas and therefore miss small wounds that become much larger. Let’s talk about how to take care of your wounds when you have diabetes.