If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetes, foot care should be top priority on your daily to-do list. Whenever you don’t pay attention to your feet—especially when diabetes is a part of your life—the chances of developing serious conditions, such as ulcers and infections that can lead to an amputation, can drastically increase.
Complications resulting from diabetic ulcers are the cause for over 60% of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations. Those are scary statistics!
In many cases, this is due to the fact that diabetes can cause nerve damage taking away feeling in your feet, leaving them numb. Diabetes can also reduce blood flow to your feet, making it harder to resist infections and heal any possible injuries. Because of this, diabetes can be extremely dangerous.
That being said, understanding diabetes and how to best live with it is vital for your health. So, let’s learn a little more about diabetic-related ulcers—the risk factors and how you can prevent them.
Diabetes and Ulcers
Although diabetes can create havoc throughout your body in a variety of ways, one main concern when it comes to this condition is the development of foot ulcers.
As we have already mentioned, diabetes can damage and narrow your blood vessels. This results in a decrease in blood flow throughout your body—especially your feet. In turn, those lower extremities are deprived of much-needed nutrients.
Together with poor blood circulation, high blood sugar can cause nerve damage. Now, you are not only unable to fight off infections and properly heal painful sores, but your nerves are also failing to inform you of any existing threats which may inflict these sores upon your numb feet.
As time passes and your feet are still unable to properly heal, wounds, sores and even calluses can grow in size and severity, becoming ulcers. At this stage the risk of infection increases dramatically, as does the possibility of having to perform an amputation.
Prevention, therefore, is the best thing you can do. Here are some tasks you should perform every day:
- Check your feet. Look for any scrapes, cuts, or open wounds.
- Never walk barefoot. Not even when you are home.
- Moisturize your feet. But avoid the areas between your toes.
- Check your shoes before placing them on your feet. Look for any harmful objects inside your shoes.