With more than 60 million diabetics, India is soon becoming the diabetes capital of the world, with the number of diabetics among the youth increasing every day. This has caused the public to be more conscious of their health, what they eat and their lifestyle. Sugar in your meal and the glucose level in your blood are probably the two most important factors that you are concerned if you’re a diabetic, in addition to exercise. And you’re right to keep a close eye on these numbers. But is that all you need to be aware of as a diabetic?
Diabetes can be an invitation to many complications if proper care of your fitness and diet is not taken. Your legs, especially your feet could be in trouble if not looked after with care. Find out how diabetes is linked to foot problems and how you can avoid these problems.
How does diabetes lead to foot complications?
Your feet receive much less blood compared to the other parts of your body. This a major problem in diabetics as it can sometimes lead to nerve damage or resistance to infection. High blood sugar levels over a long period of time also affect your blood vessels and nerves. Various conditions affect diabetics and result in foot problems.
The nerves in the feet and legs are damaged in diabetics. Generally, injuries that remain unnoticed and cause a sudden sharp pain leads to condition known as diabetic foot.
Peripheral nerve disease
Elevated blood sugar levels may cause circulation and blood flow leading to ulcers and gangrene.
Statistics indicate that all over the world, every 30 seconds, a leg is lost due to diabetes and 15% of the total diabetic population develops foot ulcers. 85% of all diabetes-related amputations are preceded by foot ulcers. An important reason why all diabetics should take extra care of their legs.
Diabetics also develop various signs of skin and tissue damage that they should watch out for.
Dry skin – A common symptom among diabetics, because of the loss of fluids and frequent urination.
Itchy skin – Mainly in the lower legs but can occur in other parts of your body as well. Itchiness in diabetics is caused mainly because of poor blood flow.
Digital sclerosis – Observed mostly in Type I diabetes patients due to excessive production of collagen. This condition results in dryness in the toes in addition to your fingers and hands. The patient suffers from pain and burning in the legs, as a result of which the nerves in the feet and legs may not release sweat required to keep the skin moist.
Consult a diabetologist immediately if you observe any of the following symptoms in a diabetic patient
- Change in skin colour
- Swelling of the foot or ankle
- Pain in the legs
- Open sores that are not healing
- Dry cracks in the skin
The best way to look out and avoid these conditions would be to have a regular checkup at a specialized diabetes clinic and take appropriate measures if needed.
You can call +91 99201 55000 to book an appointment with the expert team of diabetologists at Asian Heart Institute.