Diabetes is a serious disease that affects millions of Americans, a number that will grow astronomically as the baby boom generation ages. Complications of diabetes can be devastating, leading to organ failure and even death. Complications of the foot, in particular, are very common in people with diabetes and are unfortunately responsible for the majority of foot amputations performed by surgeons. Comprehensive follow-up with a podiatrist in wellington fl can identify foot problems early before they lead to foot loss, and in many cases, these problems can be prevented. This article discusses how a podiatrist in wellington fl can protect a diabetic’s feet and ultimately save limbs and lives.
Diabetes is a disease in which glucose
The body’s main source of fuel is not absorbed properly by body tissues and gets stuck in the bloodstream. Glucose is a type of “sugar” produced by digesting carbohydrates (cereals, bread, pasta, sweet foods, fruit, starchy foods, and dairy products). The body needs the hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas, to move glucose into body tissues and use it there. Some diabetics are born with an inability to produce insulin or develop it at a young age, leading to type 1 diabetes.
Most diabetics do not become ill until later in life,
When the ability of insulin to move glucose into the tissues is reduced due to some resistance or ineffectiveness of insulin action. This disease is known as type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can also occur as a result of taking high doses of steroids, during pregnancy (when it is only temporary), or after a pancreatic disease or certain infections. The high concentration of glucose in the blood, which does not stay in the tissues of the body when you have diabetes, can cause damage to parts of the whole body.
The organs and tissues that are slowly damaged by high blood glucose levels are the heart,
Kidneys, blood vessels, brain, nerve tissue, skin, immune, and wound healing cells. The higher the concentration of glucose in the blood and the longer glucose is in the blood in an elevated state, the more damage occurs. When blood glucose concentrations are high, death can occur, although for most diabetics this is not the case. Most diabetics who have poor blood sugar control develop tissue damage over a long period of time and eventually develop severe disease, organ failure, and eventually leg loss, although not immediately.
Foot disease in diabetics is common and is one of the devastating and distressing complications directly or indirectly related to high blood sugar levels. Foot disease manifests as decreased sensitivity, impaired circulation, increased likelihood of skin wounds and infections, and decreased ability to heal these skin wounds and infections.
The key to this entire spectrum of foot complications is the presence of sensitivity disorders. Most diabetics have lower foot sensitivity than nondiabetics because of the indirect effects of elevated glucose levels on nerve tissue. This decreased sensitivity can be pronounced numbness, but also subtle numbness in which sharp objects appear smooth or the irritation caused by tight shoes is erased. In advanced cases, phantom pains such as burning or tingling may be added to the numbness.
As sensitivity decreases,
The risk of skin wounds also increases, especially because a person no longer feels the pain caused by thick calluses, sharp objects on the floor, and ill-fitting shoes. If a wound has formed because the skin has died off under the weight of a thick horn or callus, because a needle or splinter has stuck in the foot, or because tight shoes have caused skin friction, it is very difficult for the diabetic foot to begin and complete the healing process. Untreated skin wounds continue to tear, and the wound can spread to deeper tissues, including muscle and bone.