Essential facts about diabetes and foot problems

Essential facts about diabetes and foot problems
Highlights

Foot Infections, Foot Ulcers and Amputations are common in patients with Diabetes compared with those without Diabetes.

The Problem:

  • Foot Infections, Foot Ulcers and Amputations are common in patients with Diabetes compared with those without Diabetes.
  • Vast majority of such Foot problems in Diabetics are easily preventable with appropriate precautions.
  • Awareness amongst the general public , specifically in those with Diabetes is essential to decrease foot amputations and relevant complications that are preventable.

The Basics:

  • Foot Ulcers can be due to decreased sensation or poor blood supply.
  • Simple measures like regular inspection of feet, avoiding dry/ broken skin can prevent majority of Foot problems in Diabetics.
  • It is important to wear shoes / foot ware that fit well and don't squeeze or rub.
  • Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns and calluses, ulcers and nail problems.
  • Never walk bare footed !
  • Be aware of any loss of sensation or tingling sensation in feet and seek appropriate help.
  • Ask your doctor to assess the feeling in your toes by doing the Touch –the-Toes test, once an year.
  • Get corns or hard skin treated by a podiatrist.
  • Avoid using corn-removing plasters or blades.
  • It is advisable to avoid sitting with legs crossed so as to not constrict blood circulation.
  • Cut or file toe nails regularly.
  • Keep feet clean and free from infection.
  • Good Blood Glucose control, control of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol helps prevent Foot problems.

The writer is MRCP ( UK), CCT- GIM, Diabetes & Endocrinology (UK ) Consultanat Endocrinologist, Apollo Hospital , Jubilee Hills.

By Dr Ravi Sankar Erukulapati

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