What Type Of Shoes You Should Use
If you have diabetes, you should avoid walking barefoot. Diabetic shoes are made with comfortable leather and mesh fabric associated with double cushioned layers. The soft and smooth texture will protect your feet against any foreign injury.
The rubber sole will provide the best support to the feet, and the insole is made with gel infusion to accommodate the feet. It’s recommend that people with diabetes should wear specialized shoes. A regular massage with diabetic foot cream also helps curing numbness of the toes and foot.
If need more detailed information about the best shoes for diabetics you can check out the product review of the best shoes for diabetics, the best work boots for diabetics and the best diabetic slippers for men & women.
What The Start Of A Foot Ulcer Looks Like
It can be difficult for a person with diabetes to realize that they have a diabetic foot ulcer until it has already progressed. The reason for this is that many people with diabetes do not have feeling in their extremities due to poor circulation and peripheral neuropathy, so they may not feel the pain of a cut or wound.
One of the first signs of a diabetic foot ulcer that a person with diabetes may notice is drainage from the wound that stains their socks. Irritation, swelling, or an unpleasant odor may also be some of the first signs that a diabetic foot ulcer is present.
In more severe cases, a person may notice discoloration around the wound , or the skin around the wound may be callused or painful to the touch.
If these symptoms are present, immediately seek medical care, ideally with a podiatrist, to prevent the wound from getting any worse and begin treatment as needed.
Purpose And Specific Aims
The purpose of this study was to examine diagnostic validity of clinical signs of localized wound infection in identifying DFU infection, using high microbial load as the reference standard. Microbial load is the number of organisms per gram of wound tissue and is measured using quantitative cultures of wound tissue. Microbial load greater than 106 organisms per gram of tissue is an evidence-based criterion to diagnose infection in chronic wounds . The specific aims of the study were to identify:
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Diabetic Foot Ulcer Treatment
Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may recommend the following treatments for diabetic foot ulcers:
Some Healing Factors For Diabetic Foot Ulcers
We now know more about diabetic foot ulcers than ever before. Through constant research into diabetes and how it affects people, several DFU risk and classification systems have been created that help to serve as an early warning system of how far along a patients diabetic foot ulcer may be.
Early diagnosis and proper wound care are essential in giving patients the best chance to heal their diabetic wounds. Once an ulcer has been diagnosed and a treatment plan has been decided upon, it is imperative that the doctors orders be followed exactly.
All follow-up appointments should be kept, and the wound dressing should be changed on the schedule that the doctor recommends. Make sure that the patient is off-loading their foot when possible to keep pressure and irritation from worsening the wound.
Ensure that the patient or caregiver that is caring for them is performing daily foot checks to gauge the healing process. If the wound looks like it is not healing, the doctor should be immediately informed so that the treatment process can be adjusted.
Additionally, it is important for the patient to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes keeping their diabetes under control, watching their diet and weight, exercising as often as possible, and not smoking and drinking. This will give the patient their best chance at healing their diabetic foot ulcer.17
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You should know that insulin can help you manage your diabetes and prevent further damage to your kidneys. If youre suffering from diabetes, its important to consult a doctor to make sure that youre a good candidate for the condition. If youre looking for more information, you can read about the various types of diabetes available, as well as how to get a free online health assessment. In many cases, its possible to avoid a doctors visit by doing simple exercises. If youre not familiar with the signs and symptoms of diabetes, you can read online articles about the condition and learn about its treatment.
Blisters Corns And Calluses
Blisters, corns, and calluses are quite common in people with diabetes. But it may come as a surprise to you that these can initiate the development of a diabetic foot ulcer. A blister, corn or callus that does not heal even after a considerable time is very often linked with the development of diabetic foot wounds.
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Based On The Severity Of The Condition There Can Be 6 Stages In The Development Of A Diabetic Foot Ulcer
0: Intact skin
2: Deep ulcer extending to the tendon, bone or joint
3: Deep ulcer along with the formation of an abscess
4: Gangrene in the forefoot
5: Gangrene affecting the complete foot
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. Diabetic foot ulcers have a tendency to worsen over time and if left untreated, they can lead to serious complications and infections. Diabetic foot ulcers may even lead to foot amputations in serious cases.
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Type 2 diabetes causes the body to become resistant to the hormone insulin. This hormone unlocks cells. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. While both types of the disease can cause problems, you can minimize the impact by following healthy eating and being physically active. The sooner you know more about diabetes, the better prepared you will be to deal with it. Once you know more about the disease, youll be better prepared for treatment.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that causes the body to produce too much insulin. It is also known as type 2 diabetes. If you have type 1, you can control your blood glucose levels by eating a balanced diet. If you have type 2 diabetes, you can even prevent it by adopting healthy lifestyle habits and modifying your diet. Its important to seek information that can help you be your own health advocate. There are many different types of diabetes, so its important to learn as much as you can about the condition.
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Symptoms Of Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency
Most people harboring atherosclerotic disease of the lower extremities are asymptomatic others develop ischemic symptoms. Some patients attribute ambulatory difficulties to old age and are unaware of the existence of a potentially correctible problem.
Patients who are symptomatic may present with intermittent claudication, ischemic pain at rest, nonhealing ulceration of the foot, or frank ischemia of the foot.
Cramping or fatigue of major muscle groups in one or both lower extremities that is reproducible upon walking a specific distance suggests intermittent claudication. This symptom increases with ambulation until walking is no longer possible, and it is relieved by resting for several minutes. The onset of claudication may occur sooner with more rapid walking or walking uphill or up stairs.
The claudication of infrainguinal occlusive disease typically involves the calf muscles. Discomfort, cramping, or weakness in the calves or feet is particularly common in the diabetic population because they tend to have tibioperoneal atherosclerotic occlusions. Calf muscle atrophy may also occur. Symptoms that occur in the buttocks or thighs suggest aortoiliac occlusive disease.
Rest pain is less common in the diabetic population. In some cases, a fissure, ulcer, or other break in the integrity of the skin envelope is the first sign that loss of perfusion has occurred. When a diabetic patient presents with gangrene, it is often the result of infection.
Why Does Diabetes Affect Your Feet
High blood sugar levels lead to nerve damage, especially in the feet and lower legs. Diabetic neuropathy prevents a patient from feeling sores, cuts, blisters, or other damage to the feet. Neuropathic ulcers occur due to the loss of feeling in the feet unnoticed cuts or sores are left untreated to become more severe ulcers.
Diabetes also causes blood vessels in the feet and legs to narrow and harden, decreasing blood flow. People with type 2 diabetes are also at risk for peripheral arterial disease . With PAD, buildup on the walls of blood vessels causes them to narrow. Poor blood flow in the feet inhibits the healing of injuries and increases the risk of diabetic foot infections.
The combination of diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation put diabetics at higher risk for infections and more serious foot problems such as Charcot foot deformities, gangrene, bone infections , and even amputation.
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Will Diabetic Foot Ulcers Ever Heal
Roughly 86% of diabetic foot ulcers heal successfully within a year of treatment.14 The time of treatment can vary widely, with some ulcers only taking 3 weeks to heal and others taking as long as a year. After healing, 49% of wounds recurred within the first year after treatment, and there was a 68% recurrence within 5 years.15
With early intervention, treatment is significantly more effective and does not take as long as it will if the wound is allowed to worsen before seeking medical care. In many cases, once an ulcer has been fully healed, it is possible to prevent it from reopening or becoming reinfected through careful observation and preventative foot care.
Not all diabetic foot ulcers properly heal, however. Roughly 12% of these ulcers remain unhealed and progressively worsen to the point where amputation becomes necessary.16
Types Of Diabetic Ulcers
There are several types of diabetic foot ulcers
- Neuropathic ulcers occur where there is peripheral diabetic neuropathy, but no ischemia caused by peripheral artery disease.
- Ischemic ulcers occur where there is peripheral artery disease present without the involvement of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
- Neuroischemic ulcers occur where the person has both peripheral neuropathy and ischemia resulting from peripheral artery disease.
Arriving at the correct diagnosis and identifying the cause of a diabetic ulcer is critical since it affects the treatment plan.
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How A Diabetic Wound Can Heal Faster
The best way that a person with diabetes can help their diabetic foot ulcer heal faster is by improving their overall lifestyle and following instructions from the doctor as closely as possible.
During the initial treatment, the patient’s doctor will determine their treatment plan based on the severity of their wound. For a wound that still has good circulation, their doctor will likely start the treatment by debriding the wound.
This is a process by which the doctor carefully removes any of the diseased tissue from around the wound to keep the wound from expanding further. Once the debridement is complete, the doctor will apply a dressing bandage that will help keep the wound clean and free of debris.
They will also have to see their doctor on a regular basis to ensure the wound is healing, and additional debridements may be required.
Additionally, their doctor may recommend off-loading. Braces, specialized footwear, a boot, crutches, or a wheelchair may be provided to assist the patient in keeping pressure off of the affected area.
Some patients may benefit from the use of the Orpyx SI® Sensory Insole System, which can provide real-time alerts to notify the wearer when there are high foot pressures occurring which can lead to wounds. By measuring the patients plantar pressure, temperature, adherence, and step count data, a more comprehensive care plan can be put together to help the patient prevent these foot ulcers from recurring.
Cut The Toenails And Moisturize The Feet
It would help if you clipped your nails once a week. Be careful with any cuts or injuries to the toes. Besides this, moisturizing your feet with a diabetic foot cream is essential. Choose a lotion or cream according to your skin type. Avoid applying cream between your toes because it may lead to a fungal infection. While cutting your toenails make sure you look for ingrown toenails and remove them.
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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
In the case of a new ulcer, your doctor may want to take an X-ray of the area to make sure that there is no infection , fracture of the bone, or foreign objects lodged in the ulcer, as you may not feel them. Next, the doctor will likely remove any dead tissue with a scalpel from the area, revealing healthy skin. While this will actually make the ulcer larger in size and cause bleeding, it is important to have healthy tissue exposed for faster and cleaner healing. This will likely be done in the operating room, under anesthesia. After the surgery, be sure to follow proper instructions on wound care, making sure to apply any medications and dressings as directed.Your doctor may send a sample of skin or fluid for bacterial culture and start you on oral antibiotics. It is very important to follow up with your doctor as scheduled: neurogenic ulcers can worsen very quickly and need to be closely monitored. Make sure to call your doctor if you experience any of the following: redness of the area, red streaking up the leg, drainage of the area, pain, foul odor, rising blood glucose, or swelling or redness of the top of the foot.Your doctor may have you wear a special cast that will allow you to continue to be mobile but take pressure off the area. There are also medications that use growth factors to stimulate wound healing that your doctor may prescribe.
How Long Does A Foot Ulcer Take To Heal
The healing time required largely depends on the size and depth of the diabetic foot wound. Other factors may be if the wound is constantly agitated from pressure or being rubbed on by a sock or shoe, lack of proper circulation, sustained high pressure, and other co-existing health conditions.
Under optimal conditions, and with a shallow Grade 0-1 diabetic foot ulcer, healing can occur in as little as 3-6 weeks. More severe ulcers, particularly ones that have penetrated deeply into the muscle or bone, can take as long as 12-20 weeks to properly heal.
It is important to note that these are considered optimal timelines for healing and that they consider that a patient is taking proper care of their wound and following all instructions that have been given to them by their doctor.
Any size diabetic foot ulcer has the potential to become infected and turn gangrenous if left untreated. These wounds are extremely serious and should be treated as such.12
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Diabetes can be managed through oral medications. In addition to insulin, metformin, which is a sugar-reducing agent, is also a common treatment for diabetes. It is considered a first-line therapy for diabetes treatment and is often added to insulin. It is important to know the risks of taking diabetes medications. Some drugs can be addictive, so you must consult your doctor before taking any medication. Your physician can prescribe you an appropriate treatment plan based on your medical history.
Your doctor will prescribe medication and check your blood glucose levels on a regular basis. Your A1c level will be checked every six months and your cholesterol levels will be tested regularly. Your doctor will also look for any signs of retinopathy, which is damage to the nerves in the eye caused by diabetes. You will also be examined for any foot problems. It is important to see a foot specialist regularly. Your feet should be thoroughly inspected for damage to the nerves.
While the first two types of insulin are the most common treatments, diabetes can be treated in a variety of ways. Your doctor may prescribe medications to control high blood pressure, which can protect the kidneys. Other types of medication include aspirin and other types of anti-platelet drugs. If your doctor is concerned about your blood sugar level, you may need to try a different medication. Some medications can cause side effects. Your treatment will depend on what type of insulin you need.