Diabetic feet are feet with one or more of a group of diseases or conditions affecting individuals suffering from diabetes. Foot deformities, diabetic ulcers,diabetic calluses, diabetic neuropathy, and foot infections are the most common diabetic foot diseases that occur in people whose blood sugar levels do not fall within the normal range.
In this comprehensive guide to diabetic feet, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about diabetic feet, including how they are treated, and where you can go for diabetic feet treatment near you in North Dakota.
Risk Factors for Diabetic Feet
Diabetic feet problems often occur in people with diabetes who have risk factors like:
- Poor blood circulation in the extremities, like legs and feet
- Damaged nerves due to peripheral neuropathy
- Prolonged, uncontrolled blood sugar levels
- Hypertension or high blood cholesterol
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Feet Problems
Typically, the symptoms of diabetic foot problems vary from person to person and depend on the specific foot problem a person is experiencing. However, the general symptoms may include:
- Numbness or painful tingling sensation in the feet
- Loss of feeling
- Skin discoloration
- Loss of hair
- Wounds with or without drainage
- Blisters without pain
Diagnosis ofthe Diabetic Foot Problems
Diagnosis of diabetic foot problems requires a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical exam and diagnostic tests.
Your foot and ankle doctor may ask you to explain the symptoms of your diabetes-related foot issues. They may also examine your legs, feet, and toes using different tools to check whether they have numbness tingling or other symptoms of diabetic feet. Additionally, they will also examine your feet for any signs of infection, such as swelling, redness, warmth, discharge, or skin discoloration.
A foot and ankle doctor may also order diagnostic imaging tests, such as X-rays or MRI to look for damage to the underlying structures of the feet and perform blood work to look for systemic infection.
Treatment of Diabetic Feet
Diabetic-related foot problems can be treated with a comprehensive range of non-surgical and surgical treatments.The type of treatment for diabetic feet problem varies from individual to individual and depends on the severity of an individual’s diabetic foot problem, age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Non-Surgical Methods to Treat Diabetic Feet
Non-surgical methods are used as the first-line treatment for diabetic foot problems. These include.
- Wound care
- Medications, such as pain relievers to treat foot pain and antibiotics to treat foot infections.
- Mobilization devices, such as a walking cast or a total contact cast.
- Exercises and dietary modifications to manage peripheral vascular disease.
- Close observation for any signs of diabetic foot problems that may require aggressive treatment like amputation.
Surgical Treatments for Diabetic Feet
Surgical treatments are considered a treatment of last resort for diabetes-related foot problems or issues. These treatments may include.
- Surgical removal of dead or decayed tissues
- Removal of ingrown toenails
- Amputation of the affected toe or entire limbs
- Surgical procedures to restore the blood flow to the affected areas
Prevention of Diabetic Feet Problems
Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent diabetes-related foot problems from occurring in the first place in people who have diabetes.
To prevent diabetic foot problems and care for your feet that are at higher risk for developing diabetes-related foot problems, you should:
- Work with your doctor to find a blood sugar regulation strategy that works for you
- Examine your feet daily for any changes in skin color and temperature or injuries
- See your feet and ankle doctor regularly for a comprehensive foot examination
- Wash your feet regularly to prevent foot infections
- Always protect your feet with socks and shoes and if needed wear supportive shoes or socks
- Be careful while trimming your toenails to avoid
- Get treatment for corns or bunions if you have them
- Wear shoes that protect your feet from extreme hot or cold temperatures
- Avoid smoking cigarettes
Diabetic Feet Treatment in North Dakota
If you are suffering from diabetes and suspect that you may be at higher risk for developing diabetic feet problems, visit our feet and ankle doctor for a comprehensive evaluation of your feet and ankle.
At The Bone & Joint Center, we have a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery on our team – Dr. Chad B. Carlson. He offers a wide range of treatments to address your feet and ankle problems and help you maintain healthy feet and overall wellness. If you would like to make a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Carlson, please call us today at (800) 424-2663 or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form. We look forward to providing you with relief from your diabetic feet problems!