DEALING WITH DIABETIC FOOT
DEALING WITH DIABETIC FOOT

DIABETIC FOOT

  • Any ulcer or infection developed on foot during diabetic condition is termed as diabetic foot. It is one of the long-term complications of diabetes mellitus (rise in blood sugar levels). Ulcers or wounds most commonly occur at the bottom of the toe of the patient.
  • Reasons: Diabetes from very long time causes the damage in the nerves & blood vessels of the body which are the major reason behind diabetic foot.2
    • Nerve damage causes the person to lose feeling in the feet. Due to the loss of feeling, foot is exposed repeatedly to
      trauma or injury. Thus, any cut, blister or sore remains undiscovered. So, these minor foot injuries become ulcers & lead to major infections.
    • Blood vessel damage causes narrowing of the area to flow blood and oxygen throughout feet. Poor circulation of blood and oxygen in the foot area causes the wound healing process to slow down. This further worsens the condition of diabetic foot.
    • Sometimes, long-term diabetes loses normal foot arc in the patients. This causes clawed toes or hammer toes, displacement of fat cushion or foot-bottom deformity which further causes abnormal weight bearing in the foot. This changes the shape of the foot. The normal footwear becomes unable to fit properly and pushes the foot towards injury.3

 

  • People with diabetes can develop many foot problems. Neglecting these problems can cause serious conditions which lead to amputation (removal of limb by surgery).
  • According to the research data, foot ulcers within diabetic individuals are around 15% and become as high as 25%.

(http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/?loc=lwd-slabnav)

(https://medlineplus.gov/diabeticfoot.html)

 

PREVENTION & TREATMENT OF DIABETIC FOOT

 

  • The primary criteria for prevention and treatment of diabetic foot include the self-management. Foot care is the prime option for diabetic individuals to avoid the foot injury and minimize the chances of the development of diabetic foot.
  • Self-care activities: To keep the feet healthy in diabetic individuals, following self-care activities are recommended by healthcare personnel:4

 

  • Check your feet everyday for cuts, sores or blisters. You can also use mirror, if necessary.
  • Wash your feet everyday in warm and clean water without soaking for long time. Keep your feet dry after washing and be sure to dry your feet between toes.5
  • Keep the feet soft and smooth. Use cream or lotion to keep them soft after washing. Never use any cream or lotion in-between the toes and fingers because this will lead to infection.6
  • Corns and calluses should not be cut. Keep them smooth by rubbing gently in one direction.
  • Trim the toenails according to the requirement. In case of ingrown toenail, consult doctor. Smooth the nails after trimming. There should not be any toenail left sharp which could cause injury.7
  • Wear shoes & socks all the time. Do not walk barefoot, not even indoors because it may cause minor injury to the feet. Wear those shoes which fit comfortably in your feet.8

 

  • Protect the feet from extreme heat and cold. Put sunscreen lotion on the feet to prevent sunburn. Wear socks whenever you feel cold. Keep the feet away from open fires.
  • Physical activities which are easy on the feet should be chosen. Avoid running & jumping. Wear athletic shoes for exercise that fit well and provide good support.
  • Try to perform activities which will keep the blood flowing in the feet such as put the feet up while sitting, wiggle the toes after intervals, move the ankles up & down and do not cross legs for longer periods of time.
  • Avoid smoking because it can narrow and harden the blood vessels, thus, causes blood vessel damage.
  • Check your blood sugar levels regularly.

(http://www.healthsanaz.com/diabetic-foot-care-posters-df19.html)

(https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/preventing-diabetes-problems/keep-feet-healthy)

 

DIABETIC FOOT ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE

 

The problems given in the following questionnaire in a diabetic individual should be minutely handled because they can lead to diabetic foot:

 

  1. Is there any appearance of corn or calluses?

  9

 

  1. Is there any formation of blister on any part of the foot?

 

 10

  1. Are there any ingrown toenails?

 11

 

  1. Is there any formation of bunion beside the toe?

 

 12 

  

  1. Is there any appearance of plantar wart at the bottom of the feet?

 13

 

  1. Is there any formation of hammer toe?

  14

 

  1. Is there any formation of dry and cracked feet skin in grey or red color?

  15

  1. Is there any appearance of foot toe fungal infection?

  16

 

  1. Is there any mild or severe pain in the feet?

 

 17 

 

“Call or see your doctor right away if you have any of these signs to avoid diabetic foot”

 

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