- Diabetic patients can develop foot problems such as pain, deformity, infection, ulceration. Reduced nerve function (neuropathy) reduced resistance to infection, and poor blood supply all contribute to these problems. Diabetic Foots are one of the common complications of diabetes.
- Diabetes can lead to peripheral nerve damage, accelerated peripheral arterial disease and a reduced ability to fight infections. These factors can make the foot vulnerable. It therefore needs extra care and vigilance. Annual checks often include an inspection of the feet by a trained health care professional.
1. Why it is done?
Your feet experience a lot stress every day as you put on shoes and walk. With diabetes, your feet are particularly prone to wounds because:
- Nerve damage leads to neuropathy and the loss of feeling wounds on your feet can easily go unnoticed. If not treated immediately, a small wound can progress to a bigger wound.
- Decreased circulation makes your skin and tissue weaker. This means wounds can form more easily and be slow to heal.
- Joint and bone abnormalities can deform the foot and make certain areas more likely to form wounds. Pressure on your feet from ill-fitting shoes can contribute to these deformities.
- High sugar levels make you very vulnerable to simple wounds becoming infected.
2. What are the Causes?
Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and lower extremity ischemia (lack of blood flow) due to peripheral artery disease are the primary causes of diabetic foot ulcers.
3. Types of Diabetic Ulcers
There are several types of diabetic foot ulcers:
- Neuropathic ulcers occur where there is peripheral diabetic neuropathy, but no ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease.
- Ischemic ulcers occur where there is peripheral artery disease present without the involvement of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
- Neuroischemic uclers occur where the person has both peripheral neuropathy and ischemia resulting from peripheral artery disease.