Diabetes And Foot Problems
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood glucose levels, also called blood sugar, can also help keep your feet healthy. How can diabetes affect my feet? Over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts and sores can become infected. Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow in your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals. The infection might lead to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. A surgeon may perform an amputation to prevent a bad infection from spreading to the rest of your body, and to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene. Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a “rocker bottom.” What can I do to keep my feet healthy? Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should inclu Continue reading >>
Diabetic Foot Problems
What foot problems can be caused by diabetes? Diabetes mellitus can cause serious foot problems. These conditions include diabetic neuropathy (loss of normal nerve function) and peripheral vascular disease (loss of normal circulation). These two conditions can lead to: Diabetic foot ulcers: wounds that do not heal or become infected Infections: skin infections (cellulitis), bone infections (osteomyelitis) and pus collections (abscesses) Gangrene: dead tissue resulting from complete loss of circulation Charcot arthropathy: fractures and dislocations that may result in severe deformities Amputation: partial foot, whole foot or below-knee amputation What are the symptoms of a diabetic foot problem? Symptoms of neuropathy may include the loss of protective sensation or pain and tingling sensations. Patients may develop a blister, abrasion or wound but may not feel any pain. Decreased circulation may cause skin discoloration, skin temperature changes or pain. Depending on the specific problem that develops, patients may notice swelling, discoloration (red, blue, gray or white skin), red streaks, increased warmth or coolness, injury with no or minimal pain, a wound with or without drainage, staining on socks, tingling pain or deformity. Patients with infection may have fever, chills, shakes, redness, drainage, loss of blood sugar control or shock (unstable blood pressure, confusion and delirium). How do some of these complications develop? Neuropathy is associated with the metabolic abnormalities of diabetes. Vascular disease is present in many patients at the time of diagnosis of diabetes. Ulcers may be caused by external pressure or rubbing from a poorly fitting shoe, an injury from walking barefoot, or a foreign object in the shoe (rough seam, stone or tack). Infecti Continue reading >>
Diabetic Foot Care Article
A A A Diabetes mellitus (DM) represents several diseases in which high blood glucose levels over time can damage the nerves, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. Diabetes can also decrease the body's ability to fight infection. When diabetes is not well controlled, damage to the organs and impairment of the immune system is likely. Foot problems commonly develop in people with diabetes and can quickly become serious. With damage to the nervous system, a person with diabetes may not be able to feel his or her feet properly. Normal sweat secretion and oil production that lubricates the skin of the foot is impaired. These factors together can lead to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones, and joints of the foot during walking and can lead to breakdown of the skin of the foot. Sores may develop. Damage to blood vessels and impairment of the immune system from diabetes make it difficult to heal these wounds. Bacterial infection of the skin, connective tissues, muscles, and bones can then occur. These infections can develop into gangrene. Because of the poor blood flow, antibiotics cannot get to the site of the infection easily. Often, the only treatment for this is amputation of the foot or leg. If the infection spreads to the bloodstream, this process can be life-threatening. People with diabetes must be fully aware of how to prevent foot problems before they occur, to recognize problems early, and to seek the right treatment when problems do occur. Although treatment for diabetic foot problems has improved, prevention - including good control of blood sugar level - remains the best way to prevent diabetic complications. People with diabetes should learn how to examine their own feet and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms of diabetic foot problems. They should also l Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Yellow Nails: Is There A Connection?
Why do nails turn yellow? Whether they’re short or long, thick or thin, your nails can reveal a lot of secrets about your health. Changes to the texture, thickness, or color can signal that you’re sick before other symptoms appear. When you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, it’s even more important to pay attention to the health of your nails. Changes in nail color and thickness could warn of a more serious health problem. If your nails have turned yellow and you haven’t painted them that color or injured them, most often it’s because you’ve picked up an infection. Usually the culprit is a fungus. In rare cases, the color change can stem from a condition called yellow nail syndrome. People with this disorder also have lymphedema, or swelling in their body. Yellow nail syndrome also causes fluid in the lungs. Other possible reasons why your nails can turn yellow include: bronchiectasis, or damaged airways overusing nail polish without giving your nails a break certain medications, such as quinacrine (Atabrine) carotenoids, especially beta carotene In some people with diabetes, the nails take on a yellowish hue. Often this coloring has to do with the breakdown of sugar and its effect on the collagen in nails. This kind of yellowing isn’t harmful. It doesn’t need to be treated. But in certain cases, yellowing can be a sign of a nail infection. People with diabetes are more likely than those without diabetes to get a fungal infection called onychomycosis. This infection usually affects the toenails. The nails will turn yellow and become brittle. The thickening that comes along with yellow nails can make it harder and more painful for you to walk. Thickened nails are also sharper than usual. They can dig into the skin of your foot. If you do get a cut Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes: All Is Well With The Toenails
We all know that diabetes wreaks havoc on our bodies from our head to toe. Yet it is often our toes, the toenails in particular, that show the tale-tale sign of being a diabetic. Symptoms can include brittle, cracked, thickened, or discolored toenails. I am sure that doctors and diabetic counselors would be quick to tell you not to go barefoot and to take care of our feet but toenail care isn’t often mentioned. All is well so far with my toenails but I know of several people who go to the doctor on a regular schedule to have their toenails trimmed. From what I understand, an accidental cut on the toe can spell disaster for a diabetic as infection can set in and lead to more serious problems. I’ve seen the pictures and have heard the stories of diabetics having to have toes amputated due to complications from diabetes. Only time will tell, but the threat of amputation or a fungal infection of the toenails is all the reason I need to ensure that I take care of my feet and keep my glucose levels in check. I think that it’s safe to say that none of us were happy when we first found out that we had diabetes. The words “you’re a diabetic” or “you have diabetes” can sound like a death sentence and while we … Dear Nadia, Is marijuana used to lower high blood sugar? if so, does this mean I have to refrain from the munchies to get the benefits? Leah Dear Leah: The new Marijuana industry is still at its infancy in terms … Continue reading >>
Nail Fungus Treatment For Diabetes
Diabetes: An Overview 8.5% of adults aged 18 years old and above are currently suffering from a common lifestyle-related disease that is diabetes. A chronic lifelong disease, diabetes occurs when the pancreas is unable to produce any or enough of the glucose-regulating hormone, insulin. The result of unregulated sugar levels in the body results to an array of complications including impaired nerve function, kidney damage, and eye problems. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked diabetes to be the 7th leading cause of death. Diabetes is known for its 2 types. Type 1 Diabetes (also called insulin-dependent, juvenile, or childhood-onset diabetes) is characterized by a complete deficiency in insulin and require daily administration of the hormone. This type usually manifests with children or young adults. Type 2 Diabetes, alternatively, results from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. Excessive intake of sugary foods, obesity, and physical inactivity are the leading contributors to this type of diabetes. Nail Fungus in Diabetics Diabetes, like any other chronic disease, comes with a myriad of complications. High blood sugar levels, when unmanaged, can lead to diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic neuropathy causes nerve damage, making a person lose the ability to sense pain or temperature. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs, causing a weakened immune system. These two complications jointly contribute to problems in a diabetic patient’s extremities. A person with diabetes and experiencing both diabetic neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease may be unaware of sores or cuts in their feet, which in turn can lead to different kinds of infections. At present, at least 50% of th Continue reading >>
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Link Between Type 2 Diabetes And Black Toenail Fungus
Many people with Type 2 diabetes have problems with their feet. This is due to poor circulation and nerve damage. Perhaps you’ve started getting pins and needles in the feet? The hardening and darkening of the toenails are common, and sometimes the blackening of toenails can be a sign that you have developed a fungal infection. When a fungus reaches the stage where it turns a toenail a dark or black color, it becomes a problem. This can result in it spreading to other nails, or even cause other medical problems if it’s not treated quickly. But is the link between Type 2 diabetes and black toenail fungus nothing more than a coincidence? If you have diabetes and have experienced foot issues (including athlete’s foot), paying attention to the warning signs of toenail fungus is critically important. Taking care of your feet should be one of your highest priorities. The feet are where many warning signs originate. So, if you pay close enough attention to the health of your feet and toes, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run. Is Toenail Fungus a Sign of Diabetes? Black toenail fungus and diabetes can sometimes go hand-in-hand. But, does that mean toenail fungus is a symptom of diabetes? Unfortunately, there’s no clear way to answer this question. Toenail fungus could be an early symptom of diabetes. But, with so many potential causes, this question requires further investigation. How Toenail Fungus is Contracted Toenail fungus is caused by trapped moisture underneath the nail bed, creating a breeding ground for fungi to grow. Perhaps you went barefoot in a public shower, or maybe you were getting a pedicure, and the pedicurist accidentally poked the nail bed with an infected tool. You may not even know where, or how, you got an infection. But, you d Continue reading >>
Nail Fungus & Diabetes
A common problem in diabetic patients is nail fungus. A third of all diabetics are estimated to have nail fungus, or onychomycosis, compared with approximately 10 percent of the general population. Male diabetics are three times as likely as female diabetics to have the disease, and the risk increases with age. People with other diseases that suppress the immune system, for example psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease or AIDS, are also more prone to nail fungus. Although a mild nail fungus infection can be considered mainly a cosmetic problem for a fully healthy person, the consequences of leaving it untreated can be serious for a person with diabetes. Diabetics are more likely than nondiabetics to suffer severe complications from the disease, such as gangrene, diabetic foot ulcers and other foot disorders that could lead to limb amputation. Diabetics with nail fungus also have a higher risk of contracting secondary skin infections like cellulitis and paronychia. As a diabetic, you need to watch carefully for any symptoms of nail fungus and contact your doctor immediately if your nails start to become discolored, brittle or thicker than normal. Why is There a Connection Between Nail Fungus and Diabetes? If you have diabetes you are more likely to have poor blood circulation and impaired nerve function in your hands and feet. This means that your ability to feel pain is reduced and you may be more prone to trauma, which can damage the toenails and the skin around them. Even tiny cuts and injuries can allow fungi to invade the nail, especially if you are diabetic and already have a weak immune system. Injuries that are due to the fungal infection may also go unnoticed and can cause serious diabetic foot infections. For example, thickened nails, a common symptom of onycho Continue reading >>
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How Can Diabetes Affect My Feet?
Chronically high blood sugar (glucose) levels can be associated with serious complications in people who have diabetes. The feet are especially at risk. Two conditions called diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can damage the feet (and other areas of the body) in people who have diabetes. What is diabetic neuropathy? Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called "sensory diabetic neuropathy" increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury. What is peripheral vascular disease? Diabetes is associated with poor circulation (blood flow). Inadequate blood flow increases the healing time for cuts and sores. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs. Poor blood flow increases the risk that infections will not heal. This, in turn, increases the risk of ulcers and gangrene, which is tissue death that occurs in a localized area when there is an inadequate blood supply. What are common foot problems of people with diabetes? The following images show common foot problems that anyone can get; however, those with diabetes are at increased risk for serious complications associated with these conditions, including infection and even amputation. Athlete's foot Fungal infection of the feet is called athlete's foot. Cracked skin, itching, and redness are associated w Continue reading >>
Nail Removal For Nail Fungus?
What can be done about nail fungus with a diabetic? I am 36. I've been a diabetic for over 12 years (Type 2). My left foot has always been prone to athlete's foot and now my nails are turning black. The nail on my left big toe is totally blackened. I've cut the nail down to the cuticle. Is this safe? My doctor said, "Get rid of the nail, get rid of the fungus." So, I got rid of the nail (most of it). What advice can you offer? Should I have the entire nail removed? – Yolanda, Florida It seems that you and your doctor have taken the surgeon's approach to toenail infection! Before we get to cutting or removing the nails, let me point out a few general facts. Individuals who suffer from diabetes are susceptible to toenail fungal infections and their complications. It is very important to treat the infection and achieve good glucose control. (This is not just a cosmetic problem for individuals who have diabetes.) Treatment depends on the stage of the infection and other factors. If there is only a white patch on the nail, an antifungal lacquer application will cure the infection. If there is nail thickening, brittleness, separation and inflammation, an oral (pill) antifungal agent can be effective as a single therapy or in combination with an antifungal lacquer. The usual discoloration of the toenail is a yellowish brown hue. If there are other organisms causing the change in the toenail, the discoloration may take on a dark green to black appearance. Black toenail can also be caused by trauma, autoimmune disorders, and melanoma. So it is important to arrive at the right diagnosis before treatment. This can be done by a biopsy and culture of the toenail. Removing the toenail completely is not recommended for individuals who have diabetes, since the risk of complications d Continue reading >>
Diabetic Fungal Infection, The Source Of Ugly Toenails
Diabetic fungal infection causes yellow and thickened nails for many of us with and without type 2 diabetes. But for diabetics it can lead to a serious complication. Onychomycosis (toenail fungus) may seem to be only an annoying cosmetic issue. But if left alone, thickened yellow toenail fungus can lead to bacterial infection. That makes it something you cannot ignore, because infections in diabetic feet can end in limb amputation. So here are things you need to know about toenail fungus, ways to fight it, and why you got it in the first place. We type 2 diabetics have too much sugar in our blood. Those high glucose levels become AGEs, the destroyers of cells. Nerve cells and tiny blood vessels in our feet are some of the first to show the damage. That means poor circulation and diabetic neuropathy. The direct result is toes that don't let you know when they are damaged. Shoes that are too tight cause repetitive rubbing of toes against them. Also, if you go barefoot you bang your toes many times a day without knowing it. Since the pain signal is blunted by nerve damage, you do not realize how much trauma your toenails go through daily. That, many podiatrists think, is the biggest reason you see diabetic fungal infection in your toenails. You do not see onychomycosis in a child's nails because it only becomes a problem as we age. You have a damaged immune system from diabetes with its increased level of inflammation. That means you are more likely to get the kind of infections that find cracks in your defenses. Doctors call these opportunistic infections. So it is cracked and damaged toenails that let the fungus in. But what is a diabetic fungal infection? Derma means skin, and phyte means eat. Its name tells its story. The types of fungus that live on human skin (athlet Continue reading >>
How Can Diabetes Affect The Feet?
People with diabetes are prone to foot problems caused by prolonged periods of high blood sugar. There are two main foot problems, each of which can have serious complications. Diabetes is a disease where the body cannot produce insulin or cannot use it effectively. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for helping the cells take in sugar to use for energy. When this does not happen properly, the levels of sugar in the blood can become too high. Prolonged periods of high sugar levels in the blood can wreak havoc on many areas of the body, including the feet. Diabetic foot problems The two main foot problems that affect people with diabetes are: Diabetic neuropathy Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage that makes it hard for people with diabetes to feel sensation in their extremities. The condition also makes it difficult for a person to feel an irritation on their foot or notice when their shoes are rubbing. This lack of sensation and awareness leads to an increase in the risk of cuts, sores, and blisters developing. Peripheral vascular disease Diabetes leads to changes in the blood vessels, including arteries. In peripheral vascular disease, fatty deposits block these vessels beyond the brain and heart. It tends to affect the blood vessels leading to and from the extremities, reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. Reduced blood flow can lead to pain, infection, and slow healing wounds. Severe infections may lead to amputation. Symptoms Symptoms may vary from person to person and may depend on what issues a person is experiencing at the time. Symptoms of diabetic foot problems can include the following: loss of feeling numbness or tingling sensation blisters or other wounds without painful skin discoloration skin temperature changes red streaks wounds with Continue reading >>
Have Diabetes? Take That Toenail Fungus Seriously
Before I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, toenail fungus was a problem, but I did not take it seriously because over-the-counter remedies seemed to work just fine. However, after having diabetes for a while I began to notice yellowing and thickening in the big toenails that spread to some of the other toes, too. Was Type 2 diabetes doing this to me? As always, I did some research. The fact is that a lot of people develop toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, but it is about twice as common in people with diabetes. Diabetic nerve damage in the feet, which may prevent a person from noticing damage to his toenails, and reduced circulation, which affects healing, are both partly responsible for this increased risk. You probably already know how important it is to inspect your feet every day, looking for red spots, blisters, sores, or other types of irritation. These can become life threatening if they are left alone for very long. The threat of lower-leg amputation hangs over us, and about 60% of these procedures occur in people with diabetes. There are fewer of these procedures now because of better diabetes care and education, but amputations are still performed when foot and leg sores do not heal. What I did not know was that toenail fungus can lead to an increased risk for amputation. That means those benign-looking ugly toenails can no longer be covered up and ignored. The first step to taking good care of your feet is going to a podiatrist, or foot doctor, regularly. You should visit him at least once a year for a foot checkup. This specialist will watch for signs of toenail fungus and inform you of the best ways to treat it. Because you have diabetes, the treatment for toenail fungus will be a little different, and perhaps more aggressive, too. I tried to avoid those Continue reading >>
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Diabetes And Foot Problems Treatment And Complications
Diabetes and foot problems facts Two main conditions, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy, are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Symptoms and signs of diabetic foot problems arise due to the decreased sensation from nerve damage as well as the lack of oxygen delivery to the feet caused by vascular disease. Diabetic foot problems also include bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes, fungal infections, dryness of the skin, and ingrown toenails. These problems are not specific to diabetes, but may occur more commonly due to the nerve and vascular damage caused by diabetes. Treatment depends on the exact type of foot problem. Surgery or even amputation may be required for some cases. Gangrene (dry gangrene) is tissue death due to absence of blood circulation. It can be life threatening if bacterial infection develops (wet gangrene). Many diabetes-related foot problems can be prevented by good control of blood sugar levels combined with appropriate care of the feet. How can diabetes cause foot problems? Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves that can result in problems in the legs and feet. Two main conditions, 1) peripheral artery disease (PAD), and 2) peripheral neuropathy are responsible for the increased risk of foot problems in people with diabetes. Peripheral artery disease (PAD), sometimes referred to as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), means that there is narrowing or occlusion by atherosclerotic plaques of arteries outside of the heart and brain. This is sometimes referred to as "hardening" of the arteries. Diabetes is a known risk factor for developing peripheral artery disease. In addition to pain in the calves during exercise (medically known as intermitte Continue reading >>
How Do I Fight Toenail Fungus?
What can you tell me about the dreaded toe fungus? It seems to develop very slowly and can get vicious! I've heard it can get all through the system if not treated. Just what can happen? More important, is there a way to avoid it, besides the regular foot care, dry feet, no bare feet, etc.? Is there an over-the-counter cream that can cure the fungus before it gets so bad that oral meds are needed? Continue reading >>