Sunday, 5 March 2017

How does Diabetes Affect Feet?

In the blood of diabetics, glucose is found in abundance. Excess of glucose causes poor blood flow and nerve damage that lead to serious foot-related complications. If these complications are not treated before it is too late, these complications lead to serious and damaging diseases. However, instead of going for the symptomatic treatment, there should be genuine effort to control diabetes—the real culprit for triggering foot-related diseases.

How does Nerve Damage Affect Feet?
The most worrying impact of damaged nerves is cessation or very slow signals or signals at wrong times to the feet. That results into loose feeling in feet. The feelings of cold, heat, pain, etc. get stopped. Whether it is a blister caused due to poorly fitting shoes or a pebble inside the sock that may cause sore, these all get unnoticed. As the sores of the feet get unnoticed, they are left uncared, untreated. Gradually, they become infected.The presence of extra glucose in the blood feeds the infection and therefore it starts getting worse day by day.

Prevention of Infection
Timely medical intervention can prevent the infection to take the form of gangrene (it is a condition that is characterised by the death of tissues because of lack of blood). In this case, doctor generally cuts away the infected tissues or prescribes antibiotics. The doctor may also perform some tests to ascertain as to whether the feet are getting adequate blood or not. Sometimes, clearing the blocked blood vessels may also improve the flow of blood and solve the problem.
The Risk Associated with the Treatment of Infection: The solution of the problem of infection lies in timely treatment. If treatment is not done before it is too late, amputation may become the need of the hour. Amputation is a surgery that is performed in order to chop off an organ of leg—toe, ankle, knee, etc. or the entire leg to prevent the infection to spread to other parts of the body.

How does Poor Blood Flow Affect Feet?
It is important here to know that it is the circulation system of the body that is responsible for sending nutrients, blood and oxygen to the entire body parts. When blood flow to specific body part gets reduced due to excess presence of glucose in the case of diabetics, symptoms of poor circulation starts becoming prominent. These symptoms are most common in the body parts that are far from heart, such as legs and arms as it is heart that pumps blood to the  organs and tissues of the entire body. Hence,  farther an organ is from heart; greater it experiences the symptoms of poor circulation.
Ill effect of Poor Blood Circulation:
Diabetes causes poor blood flow in legs and arms through the blood vessels. This poor blood flow causes peripheral vascular disease. The disease is mainly a circulation disorder that affects blood vessels that are away from heart.
Prevention:
Though exercising, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, staying away from smoking, etc. can help stop this disease, but the real solution lies in treating Diabetes. It is simply because it is the root cause of almost all foot-related complications.
                                                                             ----Ashish Jha

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