Whenever we think about people with diabetes, we often think of them as having problems with their feet. This is one of the most common complications of diabetes and diabetics, more than anyone, need to know that such problems can lead to a life threatening situation.
Foot complications of diabetes are caused by neuropathy. Because the high glucose levels in the blood of a diabetic person affects the central nervous system after a period of time, it also affects nerves in various parts of your body. Most often effected are the nerves in the feet. The furthest from the brain, it is here where people with diabetes who have nerve damage, often do not feel cold or pain or even heat. People with diabetes that is uncontrolled often can injure their feet without feeling it. The injury may result in a blister or wound that will be slow to heal. The blister or wound becomes infected and the foot complications of diabetes begin.
In addition to not having the proper nerve sensations in their feet, people with diabetes often develop very dry feet because the nerves that secrete oil into the feet no longer work. Their feet may peel and crack, which only makes it even more probable for them to get sores and wounds in their feet.
Because high blood glucose levels make it difficult to stave off infection, a diabetic with a sore on their foot must be treated differently than a person without diabetes. The sore may be very slow to heal, if it heals at all. Infection often sets in. This can lead to gangrene and, in some cases, amputation.
Foot complications of diabetes work like this. A person who has diabetes and who has not been keeping their blood glucose level under control gets an injury on their toe. It begins to bleed and crack. Then bandage it, hoping it will heal. It does not heal and soon the wound becomes infected. They go to the doctor who begins to treat the wound with antibiotics. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not.
When the wound does not heal and the infection begins to spread, gangrene can set in. Gangrene can kill a person, and the doctor knows this. So the person with diabetes has a choice, they can either lose their toe or their life. In most cases, they choose to lose the toe.
In some cases, however, the gangrene has already spread to the foot. Plus, the amputation risks more infection. In many cases, not only does the person lose their toe, but their entire foot. And this can continue until they lose their leg.
This information is not meant to frighten anyone with diabetes. It is only to make a person realize how vital it is for anyone with this condition to be aware of the feet complications of diabetes. No one has to lose a toe or a foot or a leg. They simply need to manage their disease so that they can retain a healthy blood glucose level that will enable them to fight off any infection that may arise from a bump on the foot and stave off neuropathy. By maintaining a healthy glucose level and avoiding glycemia, a person with diabetes can lead a full life. The trick is to follow the rules dictated by the condition.
Avoid foods that are high in starch and sugars. The Glycemic Index is an excellent tool that can inform a diabetic about which foods should be avoided. Maintain your weight and exercise regularly. This will also boost your immune system. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly and monitor your blood glucose level. Keep a record of the levels to present to your doctor so he or she can adjust your insulin or medication if needed. By complying with your physician, you an avoid many of the complications that accompany diabetes.
Diabetes does not have to be a killer. Glycemia is life threatening but can be controlled. If you or a loved one has this condition, see the doctor regularly and follow the plans to manage the disease.