How diabetes links to leg and feet problems


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
How diabetes links to leg and feet problems

Diabetes can invite complications if proper personal care, fitness and diet are not followed.

Today, we take a look at serious repercussions of diabetes on leg problems. Legs, especially the feet, receive far less blood compared to other parts of the body, and for diabetics this could spell foot trouble. Dr. Sanjeev Bhambani, Diabetes and Endocrinologist at Moolchand Medcity gives you a step-by-step rundown on this grave issue.

How is diabetes linked to feet and leg problems?
Dr. Sanjeev says, "Foot problems in diabetics result from poor circulation, nerve damage and decreased resistance to infection. High blood sugar level over a long period may affect blood vessels and nerves. There are various conditions that affect people with diabetes that may result in leg and foot problems."

Diabetic neuropathy
"Diabetes causes damage to the nerves in the feet and legs. Generally, injuries remain unnoticed and cause sharp pain in the feet commonly known as diabetic foot," says the Doctor.

Peripheral vascular disease
"Elevated blood sugar levels over time affect the circulation and blood flow. This may cause ulcer and gangrene."

How about the link between morbid obesity and diabetes?
This is a question that has several obese people worried; Dr. Sanjeev makes the link between obesity and diabetes: "Obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 27 (as per Indian body structure). Approximately two-thirds of adults with Type 2 diabetes are obese. Diabetics are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, and obesity further increases this risk. Obesity also increases other diabetes complications including end-stage kidney disease. Other complications may include sleep apnea syndrome, arthritis and fatty liver disease."

Some stats on the cases of diabetes and limb amputations...
The picture is unflattering; here's what the diabetologist reveals, "All over the world in every 30 seconds, a leg is lost to due to diabetes. 15% of the total diabetic population develops foot ulcers. All over, 85% of all diabetes-related amputations are preceded by foot ulcers. Thus it is advisable that patients should daily inspect their feet and consult the doctor as soon as they find an ulcer or an infection in the foot."

What are the signs of tissue and skin damage?
He says, "In diabetic patients blood glucose is high and body loses fluid. Due to insufficient fluid skin gets dry. Dry skin tends to crack or split more easily and wounds heal more slowly in diabetics. Thus skin conditions should be treated as soon they're noticed, to prevent them."

He breaks it down further, "There are various signs of tissue and skin damage, which can be categorized as:

Dry skin is one of the most common symptoms among diabetes due to loss of body fluid and frequent urination.

Itchy skin could be another prior symptom which can be triggered by poor blood flow. Itching can be confined to one spot or may occur in many parts of the body especially in lower legs and feet.

Digital sclerosis due to excess production of collagen among Type 1 diabetic patient results in waxy, tight skin on toes, fingers and hands. Dryness, burning, numbness and skin ulcers could be due to neuropathy when nerves are damaged. Patient suffers from pain in the lower extremities, burning and numbness. As a result, nerves in the legs and feet may not release sweat which is required to keep skin soft and moist."

At what stage must one consult a specialist?
"One should immediately consult a specialist if he/she experiences any of the following symptoms:

- Changes in skin color
- Swelling in the foot or ankle
- Pain in the legs
- Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal or are draining
- Toenails with fungus infection
- Corns or calluses
- Dry cracks in the skin
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Sep 20, 2012
Although it's not clear why, whole grains may reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels. Try to make at least half your grains whole grains. Many foods made from whole grains come ready to eat, including various breads, pasta products and many cereals. Look for the word "whole" on the package and among the first few items in the ingredient list.

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