Diabetic Foot Pain and Ulcers: Causes and Treatment
Diabetic foot pain is common amongst diabetic patients and can become severe when left untreated. Diabetic foot ulcers are the sores that are usually seen on the foot pad and it occurs in around 15% of the diabetic patients. The risk of lower-extremity amputation is increased once the ulcer develops.
Diabetic Foot Ulcer CausesThe main cause of diabetic foot ulcer is neuropathy and vascular complications caused due to diabetes. Nerve damage can cause complete loss of feeling in your foot or leg and this condition is generally referred as peripheral neuropathy. During peripheral neuropathy the pressure caused by cuts, bruises or injury may go unnoticed. The loss of protective sensation in your body may make you unaware of the fact that you are being injured and may result in skin loss, blisters and ulcers, Apart from peripheral neuropathy, vascular diseases also increase the risk of ulcer development. Vascular diseases mainly affect the small blood vessels feeding the skin. During this condition your arteries in the feet are unaffected. In few cases the arteries become narrow and no pulse can be found by your doctor in your feet that is a clear indication of ischemia. Lack of healthy blood flow in your feet may generally lead to ulceration. Due to the presence of vascular diseases the wound healing ability is also impaired. Vascular diseases are usually aggravated due to excess smoking.
Diabetic Ulcer Signs and SymptomsDiabetic foot ulcers mostly get unnoticed as these are frequently painless. Diabetic foot ulcer is rated between 0 and 3 depending on the severity of the ulcers. 0: No ulceration 1: Superficial ulceration with no infection 2: Deep ulceration that expose tendons and joints 3: Extensive ulceration or abscesses Usually tissues present around the ulcers become black due to the lack of blood flow to the foot. In few severe cases partial or complete gangrene may occur. Secondary infection is also common in diabetes.
Management and Treatment of Diabetic Foot UlcerTreatment of diabetic ulcer depends on the severity of infection. It is important to manage the diabetic foot ulcer that mainly aims at preventing them. The common preventive measures include the following:
- Control your blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of neuropathy and vascular complications
- Quit smoking
- Take care of your feet and examine it regularly to avoid complications
- Wear comfortable footwear