The Diabetic Foot

Diabetes is becoming so common, it is almost as though society has become complacent about this. The prevalence is rising in most places despite public health strategies are working to control the obesity crisis which is underpinning the diabetes issue. Diabetes has a number of problems which join together to put the foot at considerable risk from complications. These complications range from a mild infection up to the more severe complications like a need to amputate a leg because of a spreading infection or deceased tissue. The problems associated with diabetes have an affect on a wide variety of tissues within the body.

In terms of the foot, diabetes has an effect on the blood circulation which means that any injury to the foot is more prone to be serious as there is inadequate good circulation to permit healing to occur. Diabetes also damages the nerves, so that when there is some trauma, either major or minor such as a skin cut, then no pain is felt, so the area continues to be traumatised resulting in the problem considerably more serious. The body has many functions to battle infection, but in diabetes the reaction to an infection is much more sluggish compared to those without diabetes. Diabetes can also affect the eye and although the eyes are a long way from the feet, enough eyesight is required to see any issues that might have occurred to the foot so it may be dealt with. Even the kidney disease that frequently occurs in diabetes impacts wound healing once the damage has been done and the presence of disease in the renal system could affect what drugs, for example antibiotics, can be used and sometimes that range can be quite restricted.

It is for all these complications, and many more not brought up, that those with diabetes have to take special care of their feet. They have to examine them routinely to make certain that there is no damage and if there is damage they must get medical help quickly. Most importantly, they need to be regularly seen by a podiatric physician.

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