Home Diabetes Complications Recognize the warning signs of diabetic foot complications

Recognize the warning signs of diabetic foot complications

by Rising Kashmir
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Your feet are like health detectives, giving you valuable hints about your overall health. Don’t wait until you accidentally injure your feet to start paying attention to them. Your feet may be trying to warn you about a potential health problem. After all, your feet do more than just provide solid support on your adventures. These are like health barometers, ready to share important insights about your body.

If you frequently experience a “falling asleep” sensation in your feet, diabetes may be involved. Elevated blood sugar levels may cause important nerves in your feet to misfire. Don’t ignore warning signs. Open wounds, cuts, or injuries that slow healing can be red flags. Your feet are like an SOS, so don’t hesitate to seek the expertise of a podiatrist. If you’re feeling tingling or numbness, it could be your body whispering to you, “Check for diabetes!”

diabetes in india

In India, approximately 77 million adults over the age of 18 have type 2 diabetes, and approximately 25 million are on the brink of developing diabetes. India ranks second in the world in terms of diabetes. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes disrupt the way our bodies handle blood sugar, but it all revolves around the hormone insulin. Insulin, made by the beta cells of the pancreas, transports glucose from food into the cells for energy. Type 2 diabetes develops when cells become resistant to insulin, causing elevated blood sugar levels that can affect the heart, kidneys, and vision. Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune battle that destroys insulin-producing beta cells, has no cure and requires insulin. Type 2 diabetes is often related to lifestyle choices, such as obesity, and can be managed with a combination of a healthy diet, exercise, and sometimes medication. Now let’s explore the signs your feet may be telling you it’s time to take action, especially if you have diabetes.

Explore diabetic foot complications

  • Neuropathy (neuropathy): A common problem for diabetics is neuropathy. This activates the nerves in your feet, causing numbness and pain, as well as a tingling sensation that suggests a problem with the nerves. If you feel a burning sensation, it may be a sign of nerve discomfort. Muscle weakness is like a warning sign for nerve problems. Early detection of these signals is important for proper care.

  • Blood flow blockage (peripheral artery disease): Another problem associated with diabetes is peripheral artery disease, which obstructs blood flow to extremities such as the feet. Be aware that cold or cold feet can mean decreased blood flow. Slow healing of a wound may indicate a circulation problem, and a change in skin color may indicate a blood vessel problem, a warning sign that requires immediate attention.
  • Immune dilemma (infectious diseases): Diabetes lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to infections. Foot infections can worsen rapidly, which emphasizes the importance of constant close observation and timely action.
  • Toenail health: Toenails reveal secrets, especially when it comes to diabetes. If it breaks easily or thickens, check your blood sugar levels. Black or yellow nails, troublesome ingrown toenails, and slow healing are signs to check your diabetes. Diabetes can cause nail fungus, so watch for changes in thickness and color. Ignoring foot problems can have a domino effect on your overall health, impacting your cardiovascular system and mobility.

Steps to health and welfare

In short, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the key to managing diabetes and ensuring optimal foot health. Start by closely monitoring your blood sugar levels through a balanced diet and regular exercise. Equally important is choosing the right shoes to prevent potential diabetes-related problems. Also, don’t forget about good hygiene practices and robust protective measures to lower your risk of foot infections. The most important thing is to focus on boosting your immunity.

(The author is a general laparoscopic surgeon and endoscopist in the Department of Minimally Invasive Proctology, Ramakrishna Hospital, Bangalore)

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