Diabetic Foot Syndrome: Look Out for These 3 Symptoms

Written by Henrik Rothen

Apr.01 - 2024 11:58 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Discover the critical warning signs of Diabetic Foot Syndrome. Knowing these three symptoms could save your feet and your life.

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Diabetes, a condition that affects millions globally, is fraught with complications, but few are as severe and potentially life-threatening as diabetic foot syndrome. This complex condition, affecting between 6% to 10% of diabetics, underscores the critical importance of vigilant diabetes management and foot care.

A Closer Look at Diabetic Foot

According to the Polish health poral, Abczdrowie, Diabetic foot syndrome is a dire complication of diabetes that can lead to prolonged treatment and, in severe cases, amputation. With the prevalence ranging from 6% to 10% among those with diabetes, the condition is a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining proper blood sugar levels to prevent complications.

Chronic high blood sugar can lead to peripheral neuropathy and the development of atherosclerotic changes in the blood vessels, which, when coupled with improper foot care and injuries, may necessitate the amputation of a patient's foot.

Types of Diabetic Foot
  • Mixed (about 50% of cases): This most common form among diabetics is characterized by a combination of neuropathic and ischemic features.

  • Neuropathic (about 35% of cases): Patients experience diminished sensation to various stimuli, making them unaware of temperature changes, pain, and less responsive to touch.

  • Ischemic (about 15% of cases): Impaired blood flow leads to ischemia and can result in tissue necrosis, osteoporosis, or even foot deformities, increasing the risk of fractures and dislocations.

Warning Signs to Watch For

The stakes are high with diabetes; left untreated, undiagnosed, or ignored, it poses a significant risk to life, capable of damaging internal organs such as kidneys, eyes, blood vessels, and nerve fibers.

Nerve damage and circulation disorders can lead to diabetic foot, a common complication responsible for up to 70% of limb amputations worldwide. It's why medical professionals emphasize the importance of diabetics closely monitoring their feet for signs of trouble.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases highlights three alarm signals indicative of nerve damage:

  • Redness

  • Warmth

  • Swelling

Patients developing diabetic foot or Charcot foot must diligently inspect their feet daily for cuts, blisters, skin abrasions, and ingrown toenails. Circulatory problems and nerve damage make any skin changes heal more slowly and with difficulty, increasing the risk of infections that can lead to necrosis.

Maintaining an acute awareness of these symptoms and engaging in proactive foot care can significantly mitigate the risks associated with diabetic foot syndrome. The message is clear: managing diabetes with care not only preserves overall health but can also prevent the grave consequence of losing a limb to diabetic foot syndrome.

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