Diabetic foot treatment: how and what to treat at home
Diabetes is an insidious disease that, without timely and constant treatment, leads to serious consequences and complications. The so-called “diabetic foot” often accompanies this disease and requires close attention and symptomatic therapy.
Signs and stages of diabetic foot
SDS (diabetic foot syndrome) is characterized, first of all, by a decrease in the sensitivity of the skin of the foot. Such symptomatology leads to the fact that a person cannot recognize in time a violation of the integrity of the skin on the foot, does not feel soreness of calluses and corns, wounds, abrasions and cracks, sometimes does not notice their presence at all. Usually, ulcers and injuries are localized on the heels, in the places of the greatest coarseness of the skin, under the fingers, or where the foot is subjected to the greatest stress when walking. Lack of treatment leads to the penetration of pathogenic microflora into wounds, suppuration and infection, the bones of the foot are deformed. Ultimately, all this threatens the development of gangrene (the fifth stage of SDS) with subsequent amputation of the limb.
Of course, this is the most extreme and most difficult case. But early warning means armed, so it is difficult to overestimate the importance of prevention, treatment and proper care of the diabetic foot.
There are several stages of development of the diabetic foot – from zero to fifth. The zero degree is not visualized in any way. It is important here to prevent the development of the following stages, and therefore the prevention of the development of the disease, maintaining an active lifestyle, wearing the right shoes, and observing personal hygiene are in the first place.
Secondary signs of SDS include pain when walking, swelling, the presence of spider veins and distended veins, and a change in normal temperature. Also, symptoms of this disease can be rapid fatigue while walking, a tingling and burning sensation, delayed healing of wounds and abrasions, cessation of hair growth on the legs (primarily on the thumbs), discoloration (redness or blanching) of the feet, cyanosis of the toes.
What measures are meant by taking proper care of your diabetic foot?
Taking proper care of your diabetic foot involves observing the following rules:
- keeping the diabetic foot clean, strict hygiene,
- the use of hosiery exclusively from natural materials,
- footwear – comfortable, superior comfort, equipped with orthopedic soles, with a heel no higher than 8 cm, no synthetics, chafing seams and straps. The use of special insoles, half insoles or inserts that relieve the diabetic foot (preferably individual),
- prevent (if possible) damage to the integrity of the skin,
- cold or hot exposure must not be allowed. Use warm water when washing your feet.
- completely eliminate walking barefoot,
- prevent infection with fungal diseases, ingrown nails, ulcers. To do this, you should follow certain rules for cutting nails (without rounding the corners, while leaving a length of at least 1 mm).
Folk remedies for the prevention and symptomatic treatment of diabetic foot
In the complex therapy for the treatment of diabetic foot syndrome, pediatricians (specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic feet, shins) recommend several different ways to deal with unpleasant symptoms:
Most importantly, remember that turning to these treatments can only guarantee success in the early stages of the disease. In addition, traditional medicine does not replace traditional medicine, medication, designed to fight the main disease – diabetes. But, a competent pediatrician or endocrinologist will never refuse help in the form of folk medicines, because in the fight against diabetic disease, all means are appropriate. The popularity of the alternative method of treating DFS is due to its mitigated effect, the reverse side of which is the increased duration of treatment.
How are lotions used?
The most effective in the treatment of diabetic feet are those lotions that contain:
- Rye bread mixed with honey;
- Olive oil;
- Kefir or yogurt, thick sour cream;
- Rice flour with honey;
- Clove oil;
- Green clay;
- Aloe leaves crushed to the state of gruel.
All of these products are designed to soften dry skin on the heels and soles of the feet, relieve the discomfort of SDS.
A lotion is a gauze rolled in several layers, soaked in a specially prepared medicinal solution or a gruel from medicinal products, wrapped in the same multilayer gauze and tied to a sore spot. It is recommended to use lotions for up to 6 hours to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Depending on the drugs used, lotions are applied once or twice a day.
You can also use decoctions of medicinal herbs, which are prepared equally quickly and easily. The following recipes are considered the best for diabetic foot syndrome:
- Insist in one glass of boiling water, one tablespoon of eucalyptus leaves (for 5 minutes);
- Bird cherry (berries) – 1 tablespoon for 1 glass of boiling water (20 minutes);
- For half an hour, insist one tablespoon of sage and cloves in one glass of hot water;
- Leave currant leaf with young nettle for 20 minutes in one liter of boiling water;
- Mix 2 tablespoons of the string, St. John’s wort and plantain and insist on one glass of boiling water;
- One tablespoon of aloe for one glass of boiling water.
After preparing any of the broths, it should be filtered through a sieve or two or three layers of gauze, and then used for 15-20 minute baths. Then dry the skin on the legs thoroughly and gently with a soft towel.
Diabetic foot massage
Massage (or self-massage) is an extremely useful procedure when treating a diabetic foot at home. It has a very beneficial effect on the skin of the feet, normalizing and activating blood circulation.
There are several simple rules for performing massage (self-massage):
- preparation of diabetic foot – wash, dry feet with a soft towel,
- preparation of massage oil: pre-warm it in your hands for 3 minutes, then apply on your palms,
- the main stage is to massage the feet in the direction from the toes to the ankles,
- the final step is to apply a moisturizing cream (preferably specially designed for diabetics) on the skin of the feet.
It is recommended to use a cream containing urea for dry skin of feet – a natural moisturizer with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. After the massage, you should wear cotton socks.
When choosing a specific method of alternative therapy for a symptom of a diabetic foot, one should be guided by the following:
- Increased dryness of the feet, small ulcers – the use of trays;
- Wet calluses, ulcers, inflammation – the use of lotions.
Also, we must not forget about special care, which includes comfortable shoes, orthopedic insoles, and regular massage.
According to the WHO classification, there are three types of SDS: neuropathic , ischemic and neuroischemic . The most common neuropathic injury to the foot. An ischemic state in its pure form is extremely rare, more often a mixed form is observed – neuroischemic . At risk are people with diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases. It must be said that diabetic foot syndrome is an aggressive disease that develops quite quickly. If left untreated, it can lead to very sad consequences, up to and including death.
Decreased blood sugar
Against the background of the fight against diabetic foot syndrome, one must not forget about the main problem – diabetes. Blueberries are ideal for lowering blood sugar. To do this, you need to eat a glass of these berries three times a day. In addition, it is good to make a decoction: six leaves per glass of boiling water. It must be drunk 3 times a day for half a glass: in the morning, at lunchtime, before bedtime. The course lasts one month, followed by a break of two weeks, after which the blueberry antidiabetic diet must be repeated.
Various herbal preparations , which contribute to the normalization of lipid metabolism, will help to reduce blood sugar . The most effective ones:
- One tablespoon of oat husks for one glass of boiling water – heat over low heat for 10 minutes. Consume one tablespoon after each meal;
- Boil two tablespoons of horsetail in half a liter of water for 10 minutes. Apply half a glass before each meal;
- Insist one tablespoon of mulberry berries in one glass of boiling water until cooling. Take one tablespoon before meals;
- Warm up two tablespoons of dried blueberries in half a liter of water for 20 minutes. Drink half a glass before meals.
Therapy with the use of medicinal charges plays only an auxiliary, concomitant role in treatment. Before using it, you should consult with your doctor. In addition, any of the herbal remedies can be an individual allergen for a specific person, so caution must be exercised when using traditional medicines. The main principle is not to harm!
Treatment of diabetic foot is a whole range of medical measures, including the use of antiseptics, antibiotics, drugs to help cope with neuropathy, pain medications, physiotherapy and physiotherapy exercises. In some cases, hirudotherapy helps, personal hygiene and the use of comfortable orthopedic shoes with insoles that relieve the diabetic foot are also required.
Different stages of the development of the disease imply a different approach to treatment. So, the zero and the first stages involve the use of antiseptic agents for the treatment of ulceration, the second and third – provide for antibiotic treatment, and the fourth and fifth – often require surgical intervention to excise dead tissue.
A person with such a diagnosis as diabetes should lead a special, moderately active lifestyle, which implies a correct diet, a complete rejection of bad habits, a desire to normalize metabolism and weight levels. It is necessary to strictly adhere to all doctor’s prescriptions, take medications and folk remedies (if required), use the correct pedicure, prevent ingrown nails, regularly check the condition of diabetic feet in order to exclude or detect signs of SDS in time.
Dealing with diabetes is a lifestyle. A patient who strictly follows him will certainly make him reduce the negative consequences of this disease to a minimum!