There are some things in life that without the right care and attention can get out of control quickly. Perhaps you have seen how just a few weeds in your garden can multiply before your eyes if you don’t pull them out, or how a small leak could turn into a major engine overhaul in your car if you don’t have it fixed at the start. Prevention is often the best medicine and the way to avoid more serious problems. This is especially true when it comes to diabetic ulcers.
Management of the diabetic foot requires effort but the pay off can save a limb and even your life. Knowing the major risk factors for amputation, having routine evaluations, and meticulous foot care are at the root of ulcer prevention. An ulcer is a slow healing wound and for those with diabetes, they often develop on the bottom of the feet. Two of the main risk factors for developing ulcers are nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease). Nerve damage leaves a person with limited sensation to heat, cold and pain. This means that you could sustain a scrape, cut, blister, callus, or puncture wound, yet be completely unaware of it. Continuing to walk on an injury and delayed treatment can turn a minor abrasion into serious ulcer. Poor circulation then limits how quickly important nutrients and oxygen can get to the injury site which inhibits the healing process.
The best ways to prevent an ulcer are to first keep glucose levels in a healthy range. This will limit the severity of neuropathy and poor circulation. Second, carefully inspect your feet on a daily basis. Look for any signs of injury and if you discover anything unusual, treat it immediately. Always wear well-fitting shoes too, and visit Dr. Gene Reister regularly so we can stay on top of your foot health and catch potential problems from the start.
If you have concerns about any symptoms you may be experiencing or would like more tips on ulcer prevention, contact Richardson Podiatry Associates as soon as possible. You can reach Dr. Gene Reister by calling our Richardson, TX office at (972) 690-5374, or request an appointment directly on our website.
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