Diabetic foot refers to as set of foot pathologies like ulcer and neuropathic osteoarthropathy, in which a person has decreased pain sensation related to peripeheral nerve dysfunction secondary to diabetes mellitus. It may limit a person’s movement and daily activities and may affect a person’s self-esteen. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and remedies for diabetic foot.
Diabetic foot has a number of causes. According to Emedicine Health, a person may develop the condition if he wears poorly fitting footwear, smokes any form of tobacco, has an infection like athlete’s foot or ingrown toenails, and has a chronic nerve damage, such as those related to poor circulation and foot trauma.
Signs and Symptoms
Diabetic foot presents several symptoms. According to Medicine Net, these include calluses and corns that may develop due to the abnormal alignment of the feet or abnormal gait; fungal infections, which can appear as discolored, thickened, and brittle nails; tinea pedis or athlete’s foot, a fungal infection of the feet skin; hammer toes or bent toes due to muscle weakness; bunions or angling of the big toe toward the second toe, which is accompanied by reddening and irritation of the area; ingrown toenails; and cracking of the feet skin due to dryness of the skin.
As per Mayo Clinic, diabetic foot also involves peripheral neuropathic symptoms, which include numbness or decreased pain and temperature perception, tingling or burning sensation, sharp pain or cramps, increased sensitivity to touch, muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, loss of balance and coordination, and serious foot problems like infection, ulcer, and deformities like the ones aforementioned.
While doctors may prescribe the appropriate medications for the condition and its symptoms, remedies can also be done outside a healthcare unit for continuity of care for a diabetic foot.
One of the best remedies for a diabetic foot is foot hygiene. As per The Fit Indian, this involves proper washing, cleaning, and drying of the feet. According to the publication, the person should include cleaning the areas between the toes to prevent infection. Washing the feet also removes foot odor due to the combination of bacteria, moisture, and sweat. Keeping the feet clean and dry prevents skin breakdown and infection like fungal infection.
Since diabetic foot may result from an improper footwear, it can be managed or prevented by wearing an appropriate shoes or slippers for the feet. According to Emedicine Health, the person should wear sturdy and comfortable shoes to protect the feet from trauma, especially in diabetic people, whose feet wounds are slower to heal due to poor circulation in the periphery. The person may consider consulting a podiatrist or foot doctor for fitting recommendations. The diabetic doctor may refer the person to a podiatrist or orthopedist who can recommend a local shoe store. This remedy counters hammertoes and bunions, along with flat feet.
Another remedy for diabetic foot is vitamin D intake. According to Web MD, the vitamin protects a person from nerve pain. In a research done by Britain’s Univerity of Sheffield researchers, it was found that pain was lower in people with diabetic neuropathy who took vitamin D while those who had reduced vitamin D levels had ore pain. As per the publication, 600 to 80 international units (IU) of vitamin D can be obtained from food and supplements.
Diabetic foot may be a difficult condition for a person with diabetes or related condition, since it can affect his movement, activities of daily living, and confidence. Thus, it is essential to coordinate with one’s health care provider for adequate assessment, planning, intervention, health education, and evaluation.