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Prevention of Diabetic Foot Ulcer

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases in India and its prevalence is increasing. With diabetes cases up to 422 million worldwide; India ranks among top 3 countries with diabetic population. The life expectancy of people with diabetes is shortened by up to 15 years, and 75% die of macro vascular complications. Foot complications are common in people with diabetes. It is estimated that 10% of people with diabetes will have a diabetic foot ulcer at some point in their lives.

The risk of foot problems in people with diabetes is increased, largely because of either diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage or degeneration) or peripheral arterial disease (poor blood supply due to diseased large- and medium-sized blood vessels in the legs), or both. Peripheral arterial disease affects 1 in 3 people with diabetes over the age of 50, and can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

A foot ulcer can be defined as a localised injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue, below the ankle, in a person with diabetes. Diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic limb amputation, with diabetic foot ulcers preceding more than 80% of amputations in people with diabetes. After a first amputation, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a subsequent amputation as people without diabetes.

Mortality rates after diabetic foot ulceration and amputation are high, with up to 70% of people dying within 5 years of having an amputation and around 50% dying within 5 years of developing a diabetic foot ulcer. This high mortality rate is believed to be associated with cardiovascular disease, and emphasizes the importance of good diabetic and cardiovascular risk management.

Prevention of the ulcer is very important because once an ulcer is formed it is very difficult to treat it. The first ulcer can also predispose the foot for more ulcers. Sometimes the ulcers can become infected and can even become fatal if proper care is not taken. Diabetic ulcers are one of the most common reasons for below knee amputations.

Prevention

The best way to treat a diabetic foot ulcer is to prevent its development in the first place by looking and noticing certain symptoms -

  • The person has to keep looking at the feet for the presence of any red spots. These red spots are the first sign of an ulcer. Adequate inspection of the foot each day will help in early identification of ulcer. The nails have to be cut in proper method to prevent them from causing any complication.
  • Wear adequate protective footwear with soft insole and a hard outer sole. It should have adjustable straps and also a back strap.
  • Learning how to check your feet is crucial so that you can find a potential problem as early as possible. Inspect your feet every day, especially the sole and between the toes for cuts, bruises, cracks, blisters, redness, ulcers, and any sign of abnormality.
  • The individual should avoid walking bare foot as this can complicate matters and cause ulcers.
  • Proper dressing is very important in an ulcer to prevent it from getting infected. Various dressing materials are used to help in cleaning and covering the ulcer to prevent infections.
  • The best method of curing an ulcer is complete rest.  If the foot with the ulcer is kept on the ground and the patient walks, then it will make the ulcer to become big.
  • Reducing additional risk factors, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, high cholesterol, and elevated blood glucose are important in prevention and treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer.
  • Any problems that are discovered should be reported to your podiatrist as soon as possible; no matter how simple they may seem to you.

Keeping all these things in mind will really help you prevent diabetic foot ulcer. Skipping doctors meet is not advisable. We advise you to take homeopathy treatment for your diabetic foot ulcer, as it helps in lowering blood sugar, treating any infection, reducing friction and pressure, and restoring adequate blood flow, simultaneously with one customized treatment suggested to you.

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