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When Sugar Hits Your Feet

When Sugar Hits Your Feet
  • Jan 25
  • Endocrinology

Diabetes Melitus commonly known as Diabetes is a metabolic diseases which is due to the rise in the blood sugar levels. Diabetes is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease.The prominent symptoms of hyperglycemia are frequent urination, thirst and increased appetite.

If uncared for, chronic hyperglycemia can lead to long-term damage like dysfunction, and failure of different organs, especially the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, blood vessels, and also foot problems.Diabetic patients are predisposed to foot infections which are more common. Diabetes causes two major problems which affect the feet which are diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease.

Foot related problems are common among diabetic patients; even the simplest of problems can get worsened and lead to serious complications. Problems faced by diabetic individuals include foot ulcers, calluses, skin changes. Another most common foot disorder found in diabetic patients is Peripheral Artery Disease.

Peripheral artery disease is similar to that of Coronary artery disease and Carotid artery disease. However, what differs the former from the latter is that these arteries are located in the lower part of the limbs. The fat gets clogged in the inner lines of arterial walls of the legs which hinders blood flow. Both big and small blood vessels can be affected by diabetes, in the case of diabetic peripheral artery disease. If it is mild, peripheral artery disease may not exhibit any symptoms. However, as blood supply becomes progressively inadequate, it can cause artery ulceration.

Early recognition and management of independent risk factors for ulcers can prevent or delay the onset of adverse outcomes. Risk identification is fundamental for effective preventive management of the foot in people with diabetes. All individuals with diabetes should receive an annual foot examination to identify high-risk foot conditions. Negligence to treatment can complicate the issues like gangrene, claudications which might lead to amputation.

Other viable options for the treatment of Peripheral Arterial Disease are angioplasty and Arterial bypass graft. In Angioplasty, a small tube with a balloon attached is inserted and threaded into an artery; then the balloon is inflated, opening the narrowed artery. A wire tube, called a stent, may be left in place to help keep the artery open.  Whereas in Arterial bypass graft a blood vessel is taken from another part of the body and is attached to bypass a blocked artery.

Negligence to treatment can complicate the issues like claudications, gangrene which might lead to amputation. Early recognition and management of independent risk factors can prevent the onset of adverse outcomes. Risk identification is fundamental for effective preventive management of the foot in people with diabetes. All individuals with diabetes should receive an annual foot examination to identify high-risk foot conditions.

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