Understanding The Risk Of Foot Complications That Diabetic Patients Face

31 July 2023
 Categories: , Blog


The effects of diabetic foot problems on patients can be devastating. Understanding the risk factors, types of ulcers, the role of proper footwear, and the importance of podiatrists in managing these complications is crucial for maintaining foot health.

What Risk Factors Increase The Chances Of Diabetic Foot Complications?

Age is significant in increasing the risk of diabetic foot complications. As individuals age, their nerves may become less sensitive, making detecting injuries or wounds on their feet harder.

The longer an individual has had diabetes, the higher their risk for developing foot complications. High blood sugar contributes to nerve damage, decreased blood flow, and the development of ulcers and infections. Consistent blood sugar issues can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels over time. This impairs foot sensation and reduces circulation, making it difficult for wounds or infections to heal properly.

What Are The Kinds Of Foot Ulcers That Diabetics Can Encounter?

Neuropathy is a common complication among individuals with diabetes due to nerve damage. Neuropathic ulcers occur when pressure or injury goes unnoticed due to reduced sensation. These ulcers are typically found on weight-bearing areas like the soles of the feet or between toes.

Ischemia refers to reduced blood flow in certain areas of the body. Ischemic ulcers occur when poor circulation prevents proper healing of wounds or injuries on extremities, such as the feet. Individuals with peripheral artery disease are at a higher risk for developing ischemic ulcers.

How Can Proper Footwear Prevent Diabetic Foot Complications?

Choosing appropriate footwear is crucial for preventing diabetic foot complications. Shoes should provide adequate support, cushioning, and protection to minimize pressure points and reduce the risk of injuries or abrasions.

Ill-fitting shoes can lead to calluses that may develop into ulcers. Shoes should be properly fitted to accommodate any foot deformities or specific needs. Pressure may be distributed more effectively over the foot when shoes have features such as broad toe boxes, adjustable closures, and arch support. Individuals may sometimes require custom orthotics or shoe inserts prescribed by podiatrists. These devices offer additional cushioning, shock absorption, and support tailored to an individual's foot structure and needs.

What Is The Role Of Podiatrists In Managing Diabetic Foot Complications?

Regular visits to a podiatrist are vital for individuals with diabetes to maintain optimal foot health. Podiatrists can assess circulation, and nerve function, to identify early signs of complications, such as calluses or wounds, before they worsen.

Podiatrists provide preventive measures such as nail trimming, corn removals, wound care management, and educating patients on self-care techniques. They also collaborate with other healthcare professionals like endocrinologists or vascular surgeons when necessary. For more information, contact a diabetic foot doctor near you.