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 >>
Abnormal accumulation of fluid in various body tissues, causing swelling. The swelling may affect any of a number of body sites, such as the legs, ankles, and feet; the hands; the back or abdomen; and even the eyelids. Edema may be caused by a number of different medical conditions and can also be a side effect of certain drugs. Here are some possible causes: Congestive heart failure may result in edema. To compensate for heart failure, in which the heart fails to circulate adequate amounts of blood, the kidneys retain sodium to help the body hold on to water and increase the volume of blood. Deep vein thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein within the leg, can cause edema by damaging the valves within the veins that control normal blood flow. This type of edema most commonly makes the ankles swell but may also cause swelling in the calf or even the thigh. Kidney diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy, may cause edema due to excess sodium and fluid retention. Edema may be a side effect of certain drugs, including the oral diabetes drugs pioglitazone (brand name Actos) and rosiglitazone (Avandia). People sometimes experience mild edema when starting on insulin therapy, but this generally goes away within a few weeks. If you experience any unusual swelling, be sure to contact your doctor. It may be the result of a medical condition you don’t know you have. Treating edema involves treating the underlying medical condition that is causing it or adjusting medication as necessary. This article was written by Robert S. Dinsmoor, a Contributing Editor of Diabetes Self-Management. Disclaimer Statements: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provide 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 >>
Print Overview Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. The condition develops when your body can't produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated. If you have diabetes or you're at risk of diabetes, learn the warning signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — and know when to seek emergency care. Symptoms Diabetic ketoacidosis signs and symptoms often develop quickly, sometimes within 24 hours. For some, these signs and symptoms may be the first indication of having diabetes. You may notice: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Nausea and vomiting Abdominal pain Weakness or fatigue Shortness of breath Fruity-scented breath Confusion More-specific signs of diabetic ketoacidosis — which can be detected through home blood and urine testing kits — include: High blood sugar level (hyperglycemia) High ketone levels in your urine When to see a doctor If you feel ill or stressed or you've had a recent illness or injury, check your blood sugar level often. You might also try an over-the-counter urine ketones testing kit. Contact your doctor immediately if: You're vomiting and unable to tolerate food or liquid Your blood sugar level is higher than your target range and doesn't respond to home treatment Your urine ketone level is moderate or high Seek emergency care if: Your blood sugar level is consistently higher than 300 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 16.7 mill Continue reading >>
Peripheral Edema And Diabetes
By Elizabeth Woolley | Reviewed by Richard N. Fogoros, MD Peripheral edema is swelling from the collection of fluid in the feet, ankles, and legs. It can occur in one or both of your lower extremities. If you have diabetes, you need to take extra precautions when you have edema. Edema is the result of damage to capillaries or increased pressure causing capillaries to leak fluid into surrounding tissues and result in swelling. People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause wounds to heal slowly or not at all. Edema makes it more difficult for wounds to heal. Therefore, controlling edema is essential. There are many common causes of edema that are fairly benign. Some examples of more common causes of peripheral edema, not specifically related to diabetes, include physical inactivity, standing or sitting for long periods of time, surgery, burns, hot weather, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, contraceptive pills, certain medications, excessive salt intake, malnutrition, or a bad diet. Edema may present in only one extremity (rather than both) due to deep venous thrombosis (DVT), cellulitis , osteomyelitis , trauma, a ruptured Baker's cyst , or a lymphatic obstruction. Peripheral edema can also be associated with more serious conditionsmany of which can be associated with diabetes complications such as heart disease , venous insufficiency, liver disease, and kidney disease . Certain diabetes medications can also cause edema, specifically the thiazolidinedione drugs Actos and Avandia. These drugs have come under a cloud because of their potential cardiac adverse effects, and should not be used in anyone who has had a history of congestive heart failure. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease or heart failure (such as congestive Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Symptoms: How High Blood Sugar Affects The Body - Health
Glucose, or sugar, is the fuel that powers cells throughout the body. Blood levels of this energy source ebb and flow naturally, depending what you eat (and how much), as well as when you eat it. But when something goes wrongand cells aren't absorbing the glucosethe resulting high blood sugar damages nerves, blood vessels, and organs, setting the stage for dangerous complications. Normal blood-sugar readings typically fall between 60 mg/dl and 140 mg/dl. A blood test called a hemoglobin A1c measures average blood sugar levels over the previous three months. A normal reading is below 5.7% for people without diabetes . An excess of glucose in the bloodstream, or hyperglycemia, is a sign of diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes dont make insulin, the hormone needed to ferry sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Type 2 diabetes means your body doesnt use insulin properly and you can end up with too much or too little insulin. Either way, without proper treatment, toxic amounts of sugar can build up in the bloodstream, wreaking havoc head to toe. Thats why its so important to get your blood sugar levels in check. If you keep glucose levels near normal, you reduce the risk of diabetes complications, says Robert Ratner, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. Heres a rundown of the major complications and symptoms of high blood sugar. Often, high blood sugar causes no (obvious) symptoms at all, at least at first. About 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, but one in four has no idea. Another 86 million have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, but not high enough to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes . That's why its a good idea to get your blood sugar tested if you are at risk for diabetes. That includes people who are overwei Continue reading >>
Is Swelling Related To High Blood Sugar?
Insulin is a hormone that transfers sugar from your blood to your cells. When you have insufficient amounts of insulin -- or your cells are resistant to insulin -- a you may develop high blood sugar. High blood sugar is the predominant characterization of diabetes, but it is also associated with people who have pre-diabetes. High blood sugar can lead to complications of diabetes that include conditions which involve swelling. Video of the Day Swelling, also called edema, is the enlargement of a body tissue, such as skin or an organ. A buildup of fluid in the tissue causes swelling to take place in a local area in several parts throughout your body and leads to rapid weight gain in a short period of time. Common parts of the body that can be affected include the feet, legs, gums, face, blood vessels, joints and glands. Swelling can occur when you eat too much sodium or take diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones. Diabetic Retinopathy Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes characterized by swelling of the lenses of your eyes that is caused by damage to your blood vessels from high levels of blood sugar. Initially, you may not know you have any problems and your eyesight may appear fine. Over time, though, excessive levels of blood sugar in the capillaries that nourish your retina can cause diabetic retinopathy and vision loss. In fact, the higher the levels of blood sugar, the more likely you will damage blood vessels and develop diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar increases your risk of an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, conditions characterized by blockage of a blood vessel supplying the brain, or bleeding into or around the brain, respectively. High blood sugar can cause more swelling associated with a stroke. Research by scientists at the Seoul Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Water Retention: How Are They Related?
By pH health care professionals If you have diabetes, or if someone close to you does, perhaps you’ve noticed some swelling in the ankles where fluid has built up, causing a puffy appearance. This is typically water retention, also called edema, and is relatively common among diabetics. Let’s take a look at how diabetes and water retention are related. What is water retention? Water retention is a buildup of fluid in an area of the body, causing swelling, often in the ankles, feet, wrists and/or arms. So, how are diabetes and water retention related? The most common type of water retention is in the legs and feet (peripheral edema). Sometimes, water retention occurs as a side effect of insulin therapy or diabetes drugs. Peripheral edema is sometimes a symptom of kidney problems or heart failure related to diabetes. However, water retention can occur as a result of an injury, surgery, long plane rides, pregnancy, hormone changes and certain medications. But if you have diabetes, you need to be extra cautious as water retention can make it more difficult for wounds to heal. Read here for other causes of water retention. So, how can you be more proactive? Work with a doctor. While the water retention itself may not seem to be giving you any trouble, it may be a red flag for something else, so it’s important to be proactive and tell your doctor right away about any swelling. Utilize body composition testing on a regular basis. You can gauge whether your body’s fluids are out of balance even before you see significant swelling through body composition testing. It only takes a few minutes to get information that can save you time, money and stress. Be proactive. Get to the root cause of your water retention. There may be other factors including problems with the thyro Continue reading >>
Hyperglycemia (high Blood Sugar)
What Is Hyperglycemia? Hyperglycemia may be described as an excess of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Your endocrine system regulates the amount of sugar that is stored and used for energy. It is important in brain cell function, and energy levels. Since the sugar that you consume in your diet is either used or stored, certain conditions and disorders may cause you to have difficulty processing and storing blood glucose, resulting in hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. One hormone that is important to the normal storing and processing of sugar is insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas that is responsible for maintaining "normal" blood sugar levels. If you have a problem with your pancreas, then you may have increased blood sugar levels. Normal blood Glucose (sugar) levels are 60-110 mg/dL. Normal values may vary from laboratory to laboratory. Levels higher than these might indicate hyperglycemia. Causes of Hyperglycemia: Diabetes. About 90% of people with diabetes, have diabetes of adult onset (Diabetes type 2). You are more at risk for developing diabetes if you are older, extremely overweight (obese), if you have a family history of diabetes (parents, siblings), and if you are of African-American, Hispanic American, or Native-American heritage. People who have diabetes have an underproduction of the hormone, insulin, which lowers your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you will have problems with elevated blood sugar levels. If you develop diabetes type 2, and you are an adult, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications in a pill form, which allow your body to process insulin that is needed for maintaining "normal" blood glucose levels. It is likely that your pancreas is producing enough insulin, but your body is resistant to the insulin, a Continue reading >>
Basics of diabetes Diabetes is a condition caused by lack of a chemical in the body (a hormone) called insulin. There are two major forms of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes eventually no insulin is produced and individuals require insulin injections for survival. It used to be thought this only presented in children, but it is now clear this can occur at any age. The other more common form of diabetes called type 2 diabetes occurs due to the body's resistance to the effects of insulin in addition to an insufficient quantity of insulin. However, in this type of diabetes there is usually some insulin produced. For both types of diabetes, blood glucose levels are elevated. Furthermore, people with diabetes are prone to certain complications not seen in those without diabetes. These complications involve the eye (retinopathy), kidney (nephropathy) and nerves (neuropathy). People with diabetes also get early hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), leading to early heart attacks and strokes. The good news for people with diabetes is that with proper care all of these problems can be avoided. Immediate medical attention Uncontrolled diabetes presents with frequent thirst and urination. Over time, patients will become dehydrated as the glucose is "spilling" over into the urine. If insulin deficiency is severe enough, fat stores are used for energy as glucose cannot get into cells. This problem is much more common with type 1 diabetes and is called "ketoacidosis". It can be diagnosed at home with a simple urine test. When significant ketones are found in the urine, it is important to be in touch with a physician immediately. There are other conditions that require immediate attention. Blurry vision in someone with known diabetic eye disease or someone with a long history of di Continue reading >>
Swelling (edema) And Diabetes - Swelling In The Legs, Ankles And Feet
Tweet Edema (known as oedema in the UK) is a build up of fluid in the body (water retention) which causes swelling. Edema commonly affects the legs, ankles, feet and wrist. Water retention is often treatable, with treatment varying depending on the cause. Symptoms of edema The main symptom of edema is swelling of the affected area. Other symptoms that may occur, along with swelling, include: Weight gain Aching limbs Stiff joints Discolouration of skin Hypertension (high blood pressure) What causes swelling in the legs, feet and ankles? Swollen ankles and legs will often be brought on, or aggravated, by long periods of standing. A number of medications can increase the risk of oedema. Such medications include corticosteroids, blood pressure medications and the contraceptive pill. Water retention may also be caused by a number of conditions including: A high intake of salt can increase the problems of swelling in people with kidney disease. Treatment for edema Treatment for edema may vary depending on the cause. Water retention may be resolved if the underlying cause can be adequately treated. Regular physical activity and preventing long periods of standing can help reduce water retention. A low dietary salt intake is advisable, particularly if fluid retention has been brought on by kidney disease. If you are overweight, weight loss can help with reducing fluid retention. Diuretics, also known as ‘water tablets’, help to remove fluid from the body and may be prescribed for some causes of oedema. Prevention You can reduce your risk of edema by taking steps to prevent kidney disease and heart failure from developing. This can be achieved through good control of blood glucose levels, regular exercise and a healthy diet. If you can avoid long periods of standing, this wi Continue reading >>
High Blood Sugar Legs Swelling What Does It All Mean?
If you have high blood sugar diabetes and your legs are swelling it is a sign of circulation damage in the body. Glucose or blood sugar is a danger to the body when levels are high, it is important to learn all you can about what is happening in your body so as to safe your limb from this very serious illness. Having diabetes with legs swelling is a warning to you that time may be running out on the leg. The end result can be the removal of the leg(amputation) unless you do something about the condition. As high glucose continues to be a problem in the world we are witnessing the effects of the glucose on the circulation and it is very scary, as an example, the rise in diabetic high blood glucose has increased the numbers of people losing their eyesight to the illness. The glucose invades the small vessels of the eyes and causes the deterioration of the vision. There is not an organ in the body that is not effected by elevated sugar levels. Living with this elevated level of glucose shortens the life and wrecks the organs. This site has alerted thousands to the damaging effects of glucose on the leg. High blood sugar legs swelling is extremely dangerous. Diabetic Edema When legs swell the medical term is “Edema” blood sugar complications can also signal heart trouble related to edema, diabetic medication can also cause heart complications and edema. The lower limbs of the body are deeply effected by high blood glucose, this is what cost so many people to lose a leg. In a healthy person insulin guides glucose into the cells of the body, this give you healthy energy but this is not the case in the person with high blood sugar. The cells of the body do not accept the glucose and the glucose floods the bloodstream. This flood of glucose in the bloodstream is what causes Continue reading >>
6 Emergency Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of many serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, vision loss, and amputation. But by keeping your diabetes in check — that means maintaining good blood sugar control — and knowing how to recognize a problem and what to do about it should one occur, you can prevent many of these serious complications of diabetes. Heart Attack Heart disease and stroke are the top causes of death and disability in people with diabetes. Heart attack symptoms may appear suddenly or be subtle, with only mild pain and discomfort. If you experience any of the following heart attack warning signs, call 911 immediately: Chest discomfort that feels like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest, lasting for a short time or going away and returning Pain elsewhere, including the back, jaw, stomach, or neck; or pain in one or both arms Shortness of breath Nausea or lightheadedness Stroke If you suddenly experience any of the following stroke symptoms, call 911 immediately. As with a heart attack, immediate treatment can be the difference between life and death. Stroke warning signs may include: Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially if it occurs on one side of the body Feeling confused Difficulty walking and talking and lacking coordination Developing a severe headache for no apparent reason Nerve Damage People with diabetes are at increased risk of nerve damage, or diabetic neuropathy, due to uncontrolled high blood sugar. Nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes can cause a loss of feeling in your feet, which makes you more vulnerable to injury and infection. You may get a blister or cut on your foot that you don't feel and, unless you check your feet regularly, an infection Continue reading >>
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 >>
Diabetes And Inflammation
Inactivity and obesity increase the risk for diabetes, but exactly how is unclear. Recent research suggests that inflammation inside the body plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. The good news: An "anti-inflammatory" diet and exercise plan can help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. The effects of inflammation are familiar to anyone who has experienced a bug bite, rash, skin infection, or ankle sprain. In those situations, you will see swelling in the affected area. With type 2 diabetes, inflammation is internal. People with type 2 diabetes don't produce enough insulin or their bodies can't use the insulin adequately. Insulin is a hormone that is made by cells in the pancreas. It controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Insulin may also have an impact on tissue in the body. Its effects on tissue are influenced by many factors, including obesity and the accumulation of fat around the belly and on major organs in the abdomen. The fat cells can produce chemicals that lead to inflammation. Scientists are only beginning to understand the role this form of internal inflammation may play in the development of chronic diseases like diabetes. Decades ago, researchers identified higher levels of inflammation in the bodies of people with type 2 diabetes. The levels of certain inflammatory chemicals called cytokines are often higher in people with type 2 diabetes compared to people without diabetes. Obesity and inactivity have long been known to be the most important risk factors that drive the development of type 2 diabetes. How could carrying extra weight and sofa-sitting be connected to higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in the body and the development of diabetes? Researchers discovered that in people with type 2 diabetes, cytokine levels are elevated insi Continue reading >>