frequent cause of amputations
severe inflammation and ulcers
A long-term high blood sugar level damages nerves and blood vessels in the feet. Minor foot problems are more likely to occur with diabetes and often go unnoticed for a long time. As a result, pain, severe inflammation and ulcers can occur.
This is called a diabetic foot syndrome because there can be several causes. The most common cause is diabetic neuropathy, i.e. nerve damage, which can lead to typical symptoms for people with diabetes. However, angiopathy, i.e. damage to large and small blood vessels, also plays a major role in its development. The WHO defines the diabetic foot as: "an infection, ulceration (formation of ulcers) and / or destruction (destruction) of deep tissue that is associated with neurological abnormalities and / or different degrees of arterial occlusive disease in the lower extremity".
About one in two people with diabetes is at risk for developing diabetic foot syndrome and about one in four hospital admissions of people with diabetes are caused by foot complaints. Diabetes is currently the most common cause of amputations that are not due to accidents. People with diabetes are amputated about 30 times more often and once amputated, half of those affected undergo a second amputation within 5 years. It is therefore extremely important to take preventive measures at an early stage and not to react only when damage is already present.
A long-term high blood sugar level damages nerves and blood vessels in the feet. Minor foot problems are more likely to occur in diabetes and often go unnoticed for a long time. As a result, pain, severe inflammation and ulcers can occur.
Prevention is active health protection
In order to avoid various foot problems caused by diabetes, people with diabetes should take special care of and protect their feet. When nerve damage is caused by diabetes, the skin of the feet is often very dry and brittle. Corneal calluses or small injuries form more quickly, which are an optimal entry point for germs. The regular application of a suitable care cream is the best health protection. Recommended are care products with urea (urea) without fragrances and preservatives.
Further tips for prevention:
- Optimal blood sugar adjustment to minimize nerve damage
- Daily check of the feet for changes (blisters, pressure points, corneal calluses, tears, etc)
- Take warning signals such as burning / tingling / pain seriously and contact your doctor
- Careful foot and nail care (shorten nails, carefully remove calluses, care cream with urea)
- Check shoes for small stones before putting them on
- Choose well-fitting shoes
- Change socks & stockings daily, no tight cuffs, no abrasive seams
- Do not walk barefoot to avoid minor injuries
- Eliminate risk factors, such as smoking, too much alcohol and overweight
Due to the constantly elevated blood sugar, the nerves are damaged, especially in the legs. In the foreground is the sensitive neuropathy, in which the sensation of touch, pain and temperature is disturbed or can be completely absent. It is responsible for sensory disorders in the legs, for typical diabetic pressure ulcers, infections and most amputations.
The typical neuropathy starts at the toes and feet with tingling, burning, formication up to severe pain which has to be treated with strong pain medication. Many people with diabetes are also affected by angiopathy (vascular damage) at the same time. It is understandable that this vascular damage can not only cause symptoms per se (occlusive arterial disease, diabetic gangrene, etc.), but can also make the healing of a neuropathic injury or ulcer difficult. People with diabetes should therefore avoid anything that could lead to vascular damage: Smoking, high fat or uric acid levels, obesity and lack of exercise.