Diabetes and the Foot
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is probably the most damaging disease that a patient can encounter with regards to their feet. Diabetes comes in basically two types: Type I and Type II. Type I is usually associated with juvenile diabetes and is usually a herediatary disease. Type II, commonly referred to as adult-onset diabetes, is usually characterized by elevated blood sugars in people who are overweight and who have not attended to their diets as they should. There is also a condition called pre-diabetes or Syndrome-X and this is associated with elevated blood pressure, elevated BMI, which is a height and weight index, and hypercholesterinemia (elevated cholesterol); and this is also associated with early forms of neuropathy (loss of feeling or tingling sensation) in the feet and hands.
Diabetes can be controlled with medications, diet and exercise: but if the blood sugars are seriously elevated then medication is usually necessary for control of this disease.
Diabetes and Foot Problems
The most damaging problem for diabetics and their feet are foot ulcers (sores) that develop on the plantar (bottom) of the foot. The reason that the ulcers develop is because the patient cannot feel the bottom of their foot and minor trauma can result in openings in the skin, which lead to these ulcerations and eventually to serious infections and also loss of limb. The goal of treatment in diabetes with foot ulcers is to relieve the pressure, prevent infection and ultimately restore sensation to the foot so that loss of limb does not ensue. It is important that a patient with a foot ulcer consult their podiatrist, vascular surgeon, orthopedist or family doctor.
Many tests are employed to maintain a diabetic in good health, including blood test that monitor their fasting sugar, Hemoglobin A1C, which measures the response to sugar over time, MRI, x-rays and constant supervision of the patient.
Neuropathy - the number one disease that leads to loss of limb in diabetics.
Scottsdale Neuropathy Institute