The Diabetic Foot

Type two diabetes has become so common, it is almost as though we have become complacent regarding it. The incidence is rising in most places despite public health strategies are attempting to take care of the obesity crisis that is supporting the diabetes challenge. Diabetes has a number of complications that all combine collectively to put the feet at significant risk from complications. These complications vary from a mild infection to the more critical complications like a need to amputate a leg a result of a spreading infection or deceased tissue. The complications associated with diabetes have an effect on a wide variety of tissues in the body.

In relation to the feet, diabetes affects the blood supply and therefore any injury to the foot is more likely to be serious as there is insufficient good blood flow allowing healing to occur. Diabetes also damages the nerves, so that if there is some injury, either major or minor such as a blister, then no pain is felt, so the foot continues to be damaged resulting in the complication a great deal more severe. The body has numerous functions to fight infection, but in diabetes the response to an infection is much more sluggish than in those without diabetes. Diabetes can also affect the eye and while the eyes are a long way from the foot, ample vision is needed to see any issues that may have occurred to the foot so it may be dealt with. Even the renal disease that frequently occurs in diabetes impacts wound healing after the injury has been done and the presence of disease in the kidney can affect what medicines, for example antibiotics, may be used and sometimes that range can be quite restricted.

It is for all these complications, and others not brought up, that those with diabetes have to take additional care of their feet. They need to check them routinely to make sure that there is no injury and if there is an injury they must get medical help quickly. Most importantly, they must be regularly managed by a foot doctor.