Scare Off Diabetic Foot Ulcers This Halloween
Halloween is a time for passing out loads of candy to the hordes of trick-or-treaters that haunt the streets after dark, but for the millions of people with diabetic foot ulcers, the holiday can be a painful reminder of the pain they deal with on a daily basis. Of course, managing diabetes means staying away from sugar-filled treats, and for those with foot pain, numbness or ulcers, accompanying kids or grandkids on their rounds of neighborhood houses may be out of the question. The good news is, there are new, effective treatment options for men and women with diabetic foot complications, and getting relief for symptoms can be as simple as a trip to the podiatrist.
Diabetes and the Feet
Over time, elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can cause nerve damage and interfere with normal circulation in the feet. When nerves become damaged, transmission of pain signals can be delayed or blunted, which means you’re less likely to notice pain so sores and other injuries go untreated. At the same time, the decrease in normal circulation means it’s more difficult for feet to heal. Sores remain open longer, and that means it’s much easier for bacteria to enter and colonize, causing serious and sometimes widespread infections. Plus, poor circulation can also cause changes in the structure of the skin, making it more prone to cuts and other types of damage. Once bacteria are inside the sore, the high levels of glucose provide an ample source of food that increases germ growth and increases the risks associated with diabetic foot ulcers.
Even relatively common foot-related problems like corns and calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, warts and bunions can result in sores that can develop into major infections, increasing the risk for amputation. In fact, nearly three-quarters of lower limb amputations occur as a result of diabetic foot ulcers, yet studies show as many as 85 percent of these amputations could be avoided with proper foot care.
Treating Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Statistics show men and women with diabetes are 25 times more likely to have a leg amputated compared to those who don’t have the disease; in the U.S., well over 70,000 people undergo diabetes-related amputations each year. Fortunately, advances in both prevention and treatment techniques are enabling more people to avoid amputations. The key is to work closely with a podiatrist skilled in diabetic foot care and diabetic foot ulcer treatment.
Dr. Felix Sigal is a top provider of diabetic foot ulcer treatment options at the Foot & Ankle Clinic, and the clinic is an active participant in foot ulcer clinical trials, enabling patients to have access to the most innovative, state-of-the-art treatments available today. Take control of your health this Halloween season by scheduling a consultation and evaluation at Dr. Felix Sigal’s Foot & Ankle Clinic and learn how you can treat yourself to a healthier future.