DIABETIC FOOT CARE
Diabetes has special effect on the feet. Your blood sugar levels are directly related to the type of problems you will see with your feet.
Continual and elevated blood sugar levels can cause the nerves in the feet to stop working, particularly the nerves that are responsible for “feeling”. We call these nerves sensory nerves. Once a nerve has lost its ability to deliver sensory signals, you can never get that back. Controlling your blood sugars to levels averaging below 126 mg/dl can keep this loss of feeling from developing in your feet.
The loss of feeling is called Peripheral neuropathy. Imagine, not being able to tell where your feet are unless looking at them. How about walking across an asphalt parking lot in the summer and having the bottom of your feet burn off because you could not feel them. How about stepping into a shower where the water is too hot and burns your feet as well. Peripheral neuropathy can cause this very thing to happen. Again, tight control of your blood glucose levels will keep this from developing.
Ulcers are common once peripheral neuropathy has set in. You have lost the ability to feel your feet, so the bad fitting shoe can cause an open sore to develop in your foot, but you have no idea it’s happened until it’s too late.If you notice an open wound on your foot, see me right away. These open sores can become infected quickly. This infection may move to bone necessitating an amputation of a portion of your foot.
Dr. Nelson recommends inspecting your feet daily. If you are unable to see the bottom of your foot, use a mirror placed on the ground to look at your feet. You might even wear white socks only in the event that you develop a sore, you will see the blood on the sock and know that something is not right. Remember that you will probably not feel the ulcer develop.
Controlling your blood sugars is the number one thing that will keep complications from diabetes away from your feet.
Having an open wound, increases the chances of infection. If you have a non healing wound on your lower extremity, it is essential that you act to get it healed as quickly as possible to prevent infection and further complications. If you have diabetes, you are especially at risk for complications. The sooner a wound is treated the greater the patient’s chances are of healing.
When you first come to our office, we will use the latest technology to perform a comprehensive neurologic, vascular and orthopedic exam. Once the wounds are healed, patients are regularly followed up to help avoid future problems. So, if you have a non-healing wound on your foot, ankle or leg especially if you’re diabetic, we strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment to see us as soon as possible.