Why You Should Never Ignore Diabetic Foot Ulcers
As a diabetic, you never know what might cause you to develop a diabetic foot ulcer. A new pair of shoes or taking too long of a walk might cause you to have a small callus or blister on your foot.
Real problems pop-up when your feet lose feeling and if you continue to walk or neglect to change your shoes, a tiny sore could turn into a serious foot wound. Nearly 15 percent of diabetics end up with a foot ulcer. One day, you may take off your sock and find blood and you’ll have no idea how that happened.
Foot ulcers cause your skin to wear away, usually because of peripheral neuropathy. Sometimes ulcers are dangerous and can lead to amputation, so you need to do everything to prevent them.
Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is the key to preventing diabetic foot ulcers. Uncontrolled glucose is a major cause of neuropathy, causing feeling loss in the feet, allowing a sore to go unnoticed. If you maintain normal glucose levels sores on your feet heal faster and this keeps ulcers from developing.
If you have diabetes, do daily foot inspections. If you can’t see the bottoms of your feet, put a mirror on the floor to examine them or ask a family member to regularly examine them.
If you develop an ulcer, typical wound care is called debridement where your doctor removes unhealthy tissue from the wound. This promotes the body’s natural healing mechanism. After debridement, your doctor will dress the wound and you’ll have to change the dressing regularly.
Take a Load Off
Continued pressure on your wound will make it worse so, as part of your treatment, you’ll likely wear a cast, surgical shoe or boot while your wound heals. If healing doesn’t take place within four weeks or you have a bone infection, your doctor will recommend more advanced treatments including living cellular skin substitute and/or Hyperbaric oxygen therapy where you breathe pure oxygen in a pressurized room.
Diabetic foot ulcers are serious because the soft tissue of your foot is different than on other parts of your body. This increases the likelihood of infection to the muscle and bone. These infections and poor blood flow can often lead to more serious complications which could lead to amputation.
If you think you have a foot ulcer, see your doctor right away. Your doctor may order an X-ray or an MRI to see if there is an infection in the bone.
If you develop a diabetic foot ulcer, keep your sugars under control and keep in touch with your doctor. Never let a wound linger without seeking treatment.
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