Diabetic foot syndrome – the basics of prevention and treatment
Diabetic foot syndrome (hereinafter referred to as DFS) is a complex of anatomical and functional changes in the lower extremities (legs) of a person with diabetes mellitus. That is, DDS is a collective concept, and is rarely used as an independent diagnosis. Most often, in the extract, doctors indicate the components of this syndrome – abscess, phlegmon, gangrene and others. They develop against the background of such complications of diabetes as diabetic neuropathy, micro- and macroangiopathy , osteoarthropathy and some others. And the most terrible consequence of these complications is amputation. Let’s figure out what you need to know and how to behave in everyday life in order to avoid this.
Causes of the development of diabetic foot syndrome
Due to reduced blood flow in the legs and neurological disorders, a person with diabetes can develop long-term wounds that do not heal, a progressive and untreated fungus, black spots on the skin (mainly of the toes), ulcers – these are all manifestations of DFS. Also, this syndrome can manifest itself as a deformity of the foot – for example, unnaturally curved toes, high arch and arched foot, etc.
Statistically, SDS is 10 times more common in people with type 2 diabetes. But, of course, this does not mean that people with type 1 diabetes can not be afraid of these complications. After all, the main cause of SDS is damage to the vessels in the legs. And the vessels in the legs are affected due to high sugars for a long time or due to sudden changes in blood sugar from low to high and back.
Decompensation of diabetes (often high sugars or frequent sudden changes in sugars) of any type causes distal angiopathy – deterioration of blood flow in the lower extremities, and distal neuropathy – impaired sensitivity of nerve endings in the legs. Signs that you are at risk for developing SDS include:
- weak sensation or complete absence of sensation of pain in the feet when they are injured,
- insensitivity to high or low temperature,
- the appearance of a feeling of tingling in the legs,
- burning or shooting pain when walking or even at rest,
- the feet stop sweating and the skin (especially the feet) becomes dry.
Dry skin on the feet in people with diabetes is quite common. To reduce this manifestation and its negative consequences, it is important to follow the rules of foot hygiene and regularly use moisturizing creams or even special foot care kits for diabetics.
Uncontrolled diabetes leads to impaired blood circulation in the legs. Because of this, the blood supply to the tissues deteriorates. And this, in turn, leads to the fact that even small wounds, abrasions, abrasions heal very slowly. And if they are not treated, they can become infected and develop into trophic ulcers. In the most difficult cases, they cause gangrene and amputations.
Follow this link to find out 10 foot care tips for people with diabetes that can significantly reduce your risk of developing diabetic foot syndrome. And here we briefly list what not to do and when to see a doctor to protect your legs and yourself.
What should not be done?
- do not walk barefoot, especially on the street, in public places;
- do not soar your feet, do not wash them with hot water;
- do not use heating pads;
- do not use ointment dressings without a doctor’s prescription;
- do not use corn softeners;
- do not use other people’s socks, shoes, do not visit a common bath;
- do not come close to open fire and heating devices;
- do not treat your legs, do not cut your nails yourself with poor eyesight;
- do not self-medicate if you have not coped with the problem on the foot within a week
When to contact a specialist?
- when the nail has grown into the skin,
- with bruises, abrasions, burns that you cannot heal yourself for more than a week,
- with darkening of the fingers, the appearance of pain in the calves when walking and at rest,
- with loss of sensation in the feet;
- if there is a wound of any size and for any reason that you did not notice for several days,
- with ulcers and suppurations,
- when the deadline has come, appointed by the doctor of the diabetic foot department, or any questions regarding the feet have arisen.