Diabetes is primarily characterized by the condition of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. This is caused because the hormone insulin that reduces the blood sugar level is not produced or does not work effectively. As there is no cure for diabetes, a diabetic must control their blood sugar levels every day so that there are no further health problems. In type 1 diabetes this involves injecting insulin into the body. In type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes the treatment may involve taking a drug to make the insulin in their body work more effectively or simply watch what they eat.
Unfortunately, no matter how diligent a person is about their day to day treatment, other complications will occur over time. This is especially so for people with type 2 diabetes because there is a good chance that they have been living with the condition for many years before it was diagnosed. One common complication is problems with the feet, in particular, foot ulcers. This article will discuss why this is such a common complaint for diabetics and how they can avoid such problems.
Blood circulates through the body and is responsible for supplying the vital organs and systems of the body with oxygen and nutrients. It is believed that if the blood is constantly high in sugar it can not perform these vital functions. Consequently many of these systems start to develop problems.
In the case of feet, the circulatory and nervous systems are affected by high blood sugar. In the case of the circulation it means that the blood does not flow freely to the extremities of the body. This includes the feet and the hands. So people with diabetes might find that their feet pick up cuts and bruises. As the red blood cells are responsible for healing any cuts and bruises, it also takes longer for these injuries to heal because the red blood cells do not get to the feet.
The nervous system is also damaged by diabetes and high blood sugar over time. This means that the nervous system is not responsive to things that happen to the body or that that does not communicate to the rest of the body if something is happening. So diabetics may find that their feet sometimes become numb. As they learn to live with this they will often miss cuts and bruises on their feet because they do not feel them. When these bruises are left untreated they can get worse or become infected. This can lead to more problems.
Foot ulcers are often caused when there is too much pressure applied to a part of the foot. This may be a result of corn or calluses that are aggravated by poor quality shoes or socks or are not cared for.
The key to treating foot ulcers is to minimize the chances of them occurring in the first place. Take extra care of your feet and inspect them daily. Always wash and dry them each day. Be sure to keep nails trim.
Find shoes and socks specifically designed for diabetics. In the case of socks, they will be soft and be of natural fibers that allow the foot to breath. The same goes for shoes. They will have soft material that will not aggravate the skin and give the feet plenty of room.
If you do get ulcers, then see your doctor. They will prescribe topical medication and handle the treatment.