Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that affects how the body uses blood glucose. When the body does not produce enough insulin or when cells do not respond to the insulin produced, the person has high blood sugar or diabetes mellitus. Having diabetes changes your physical ability to fight infections and people with diabetes often have to deal with many side effects. The most common, and critical is the diabetic foot. A diabetic foot is subject to damaged nerves, sores, and infections. Sometimes the infections are so severe that they can go into the bones and develop deformities.
What are the symptoms and causes of Diabetic Foot?
Diabetes affects the vascular system leading to poor blood circulation, reducing oxygen and nutrients to the feet. Venous diseases causes nerve damage, numbness, and an inability to feel heat or cold leading toward the development of neuropathy, and other complication. A person with diabetes must carefully inspect feet every day and maintain their primary doctor for routine foot checkups. Poor fitting shoes are a leading cause to minor foot problems that can develop into a serious condition. If you are experiencing red spots, corns, calluses, and bunions it is vital to attain a better fitting shoe. There are times when the numbness is so severe that the diabetic cannot determine if there are any minor sores, cuts, or scrapes on the bottom of the foot; leading to infections and gangrene. Further deterioration may even lead to severe leg ulcers which require amputations. Smoking cigarettes contribute to narrowing blood vessels such as atherosclerosis, which increase complications to the feet.
How to manage Diabetic Foot?
Consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms, nothing is too insignificant when it comes to dealing with a diabetic foot. If you have persistent pain and redness or swelling of the feet and leg ulcers, this could be an indication of an infection or poor blood circulation as a result of arterial diseases. If you have pain in the legs reaching your buttocks when you walk, and it subsides when you sit, this is a clue to poor circulation. Any break in the skin, or extreme dry skin needs attention to prevent gangrene from occurring. Pus in a cut or sore and or recurrent bleeding is a sign of a diabetic foot. If you see any red streaking next to cuts, wounds, or redness surrounding the wound this may mean that an infection is spreading. Developing a limp over time and having difficulty walking may be a sign of joint problems. If you notice numbness slowly developing, and lasting longer than a few minutes, this may be nerve damage. Constant itching on the bottom of feet may be a sign of fungus this has to be treated, or it can set into a deep infection. If you develop a fever due to any cut, or scrape, call your doctor.
When you seek medical help, your doctor will ask you about the different symptoms you experience, and your medical history. After a physical exam, your primary care provider may refer you to a podiatrist, or a foot specialist. To receive proper diagnosis you may undergo the following: An x-ray revealing bone structure, and detecting any sign of bone infection. A CT scan, also a type of an x-ray that is computerized, having the ability to evaluate types of infections, hidden pus or abscess. MRI scan uses magnetic waves to take pictures inside your body also to detect pus and infections. You may receive a Doppler test to determine your blood flow. A blood test is to determine high or low white blood cell count. This will let your doctor know the severity of the infection. In addition, they may check for blood sugar levels. As diabetes affects many bodily functions, a consultation may take place with a vascular surgeon together with an orthopedic surgeon. They specialise in lower extremity infections, blood circulatory and bone problems.
Depending on your diagnosis, medical treatment will vary. Antibiotics are the first defense against infections. It is extremely urgent you complete the entire prescription in order to effect complete healing. You may be referred to a wound care center specializing in diabetic infections to the feet; determining a treatment plan. This may include surgery to clean out and take care of any wounds. Hospitalisation is necessary when a deep infection has set in the foot, and require immediate surgery preventing amputations.
Find out more about Diabetes Management and Treatment options
Our doctor regularly conducts free public educational forums about diabetic management and steps to prevent amputation at his clinic. Contact us now if you will like to be informed about the next forum or make an appointment with our doctor for a consultation
Why choose treatments by our doctor?
Being among the few vascular and endovascular trained surgeons in Singapore, our doctor can provide comprehensive services from diagnosis to treatment. Our doctor is one of the few doctors in Singapore who is able to do stenting for your foot to treat diabetic foot. Our clinic always adopts the latest minimally invasive technology to reduce the recovery of our patients. Diabetes often affect many other aspects of your health. Being a part of one of the largest multi-disciplinary private health care in Singapore, we have quick access to many doctors from other specialisations to give treatments should your diabetes develop other complications. Having the ability to provide a comprehensive service, our doctor will be able to prescribe a customised treatment for you that is best suited for your body and preferences.