Living with Diabetic Foot Ulcers

diabetic-foot-ulcerDiabetes mellitus is a chronic disease which affects 16 million people in the United States alone.

Every day about 2,200 new cases are diagnosed.

Roughly 15% of all diabetes sufferers will inevitably develop foot ulcers.

Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or bottom of the big toe, usually where an area of skin has been damaged.

Generally the skin will heal quickly if it has been cut, but in patients who suffer from diabetes the skin on the feet does not heal normally.

Diabetics are therefore prone to developing an ulcer.

Depending on the patient, it may take weeks or even several months for foot ulcers to heal.

Diabetes & Hospitalization

Diabetic foot ulcers are responsible for more hospitalizations than any other complication related to diabetes.

It is also the leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations in the United States.

Foot ulcers contribute to almost 85% of all diabetes-related amputations.

The treatment of infections, amputations, and hospitalizations due to foot ulcers cost billions of dollars annually.

It also places a tremendous strain on the health care system.

Common Causes Of Foot Ulcers

Ulcers can develop after mild injury, but mostly in diabetes sufferers.

Diabetics develop foot ulcers due to 2 main factors:

  • Reduced sensation of the feet
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels leading to the feet

They may also form as a result of poorly fitted shoes, especially on the sides of the foot.

Chronic high blood sugar levels are also associated with serious complications in diabetes sufferers.

Are You At High Risk?

The risk of developing foot ulcers can increase in the following circumstances:diabetes-risk

  • If you have poor circulation
  • Foot problems such as bunions which put pressure on points on the feet
  • Wearing the incorrect shoes
  • If you have had a foot ulcer in the past, it may reoccur
  • If you have other complications such as kidney or eye problems
  • If your feet are prone to injury
  • If you suffer from neuropathy

Treatment

While foot ulcers can be quite serious, most patients respond well to treatment.

Early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to reduce the risk of complications.

Although not all ulcers are infected, neglecting them will most definitely result in infections.

Limb-threatening diabetic foot infections are usually polymicrobial, which means that it is caused by several different types of micro-organisms.

In order to keep an ulcer from being infected, it is important to:

  • Cleanse the wound daily
  • Keep the ulcer clean, dry and bandaged at all times
  • Keep your blood glucose levels under control

Keeping off your feet as much as possible is also very important.

For more information on Healing foot ulcers,please read Heal Diabetic Foot Ulcers Naturally.

Preventing An Ulcer

foot-care

The development of foot ulcers in patients with diabetes mellitus have several components; neuropathy, biomechanical pressure, and vascular supply are but a few.

If you suffer from diabetes, you should be aware of how to prevent and treat foot ulcers.

Proper foot care is very important.

 

Make sure you:

  • Have your feet examined regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Monitor your cholesterol levels

Diabetic Foot Care

Taking care of your feet is vital if you have diabetes.

Research has proven that people with diabetes who take good care of their feet and protect them from injury are much less likely to develop foot ulcers.

Proper foot care includes the following:

  • Cut your toenails regularly
  • Keep the skin on your feet soft and smooth
  • Wash your feet every day
  • Do not try to deal with corns, calluses, verrucas (or other foot problems) by yourself
  • Keep an eye out for athlete’s foot
  • Always wear socks with shoes or other footwear
  • Wear low heels to avoid pressure on the toes

Invest in good quality, comfortable shoes and avoid walking barefoot at all costs.

The type of shoes you wear when you have diabetes is important:avoid-high-heels

  • Wear shoes made either of suede, canvas or leather
  • Do not wear shoes which are pointed
  • Wear shoes that can adjust easily
  • Avoid flip-flop or high heels

Successful treatment of diabetic foot ulcers also includes 3 different methods:

 1. Debridement

The removal of all necrotic tissue and foreign bodies down to viable tissue.

2. Offloading

A wheelchair, crutches and/or specialised shoes, insoles and socks are used to reduce pressure off of the ulceration.

3. Infection control

Mild to moderate infections need to be examined daily, so that they may be controlled.

Daily Care

Be sure to keep your blood sugar levels under tight control.

This will help you to heal faster.

With a proper diet, exercise and correct care, there is hope for those suffering with foot ulcers.

When To Call A Doctor

when-to-tell-a-doctor

 

Self-care is vital and can be very effective.

There are however cases where you may need to consult a healthcare professional…

Don’t know when to call a doctor?

Indications may include:

  • Pus
  • Fever
  • Redness
  • Increased pain

Be sure to call a doctor if our foot ulcer is black, white or blue.

For more treatment information on this condition please look at, Secret Diabetic Foot Ulcer Cure Finally Revealed.

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