Diabetes and Your Feet

There is a lot to manage if you have diabetes which includes checking your blood sugar, making healthy food, finding time to be active, taking medicines, going to doctor’s appointments. With all that, your feet might be the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, diabetic foot complications are common in Diabetes.

My patient, Dhruv, 48 years old had stubbed his toe at work. The very next morning he noticed the skin on his toe had darkened. Over the next couple of weeks, it grew darker and started to turn black. This scared him so much that he dropped at my clinic. He was rushed to the emergency immediately and after a three-hour operation he was left with three toes on his left foot.  Doctors told him repeatedly that he needed to control his diabetes and eat better. But Dhruv was just relieved that he didn’t lose his whole leg. Instead, he continued his daily diet of junk food and sugary drinks. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate bars, pastries, and soda whenever he wanted. Late last year, Dhruv realized he had a “huge” infected ulcer on his right foot. This time, he knew what might be coming. There was so much damage to his bone caused by the infected and untreated wound, there was no choice but to remove his lower leg and foot. 

Though I did not disclose the real identity, I shared this incident in hopes that it would help others with diabetes make better choices about their health. 

Diabetic foot is one of the most common complication of Diabetes. It is a pathology that results from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). All people with diabetes can develop foot ulcers and foot pain. The lifetime risk of diabetics to develop a foot ulcer is 34%. Approximately 50 percent of people with type 2 diabetes, T2D and 20% of those with type 1 diabetes develop neuropathy. Do you know diabetes silently causes many such undesired health issues in our body? Know A to Z about Diabetes in my round the clock webinar, Diabetes: the unseen pandemic. Click the button below to join the webinar now.

Diabetic foot is often quite a dreaded disability that can lead to long stretches of hospitalization and mounting costs. The worst is that it can lead to amputation as well. 20% of diabetic foot infections result in amputation. Every 30 seconds, one lower limb amputation in diabetes patients occurred around the world. The phantom limb plays its own cruel joke on the already demoralized psyche. The diabetic foot, no wonder, is one of the most feared complications of diabetes.

The image alongside refers to the stages of Diabetic foot ulcer progression. Do you know a person with damaged nerve loses the sense of feeling in his or her feet? In such condition a person is unable to realize that an ill-fitting shoe had created a blister or whether they have cut a small cut while walking in the lawn bare foot.

Diabetes affects the blood vessels and nerves throughout the body but first it affects the smallest ones that are furthest from the spinal cord termed as the peripheral nerves, the ones that stretch to the toes and feet. Such condition is clinically termed as Diabetic neuropathy or damaged nerves. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of limb amputation in the adult. Click on the link below to know about the early symptoms of Diabetic neuropathy.

Diabetic Neuropathy is linked to poor blood circulation that causes numbness in your hands and feet. It may also be the reason behind cold feet and hand. High glucose levels damage the lining of the blood vessels impeding the normal blood circulation. Neuropathy can occur when blood flow to the arms and legs is decreased or slowed by inflammation, blood clots, or other blood vessel disorders. Decreased blood flow deprives the nerve cells of oxygen, causing nerve damage or nerve cell death.

Do you know that Diabetic foot ulcers have adverse consequences on economy as well? The cost of DFUs may vary based on the interventions used to treat foot ulcers as well as its management. It is four times the cost when compared to non-DFU patient.

Some people with nerve damage have numbness, tingling, or pain, but others have no symptoms. Nerve damage can also lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold. Living without pain sounds pretty good, but it comes at a high cost. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something’s wrong so you can take care of yourself. If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, sore, or other problem. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early.

I have designed and launched an educational course, Art of Living with Diabetes which guides you how to efficiently stay at bay from such dangerous complications and lead a quality life. Do you know what are the ways to check if you have PAD? You can check it at home by yourself. Join my ongoing course to successfully manage complications related to Diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is irreversible and its progression should be halted at the earliest.

Published by Dr.Pratim Sengupta

Dr. Pratim Sengupta thinks of himself as conscious, living, soulful being with an inner urge to break the inertia of life. He feels that life is nothing but a material expression of the Supreme Almighty Consciousness. His conscious existence empowered him to see, to hear, to talk, to interact, to feel, to dream, to ask questions, and to seek solutions to every problem. In the flow of life, as he grew up, he understood that knowledge of life is the only way to understand the scientific basis of conscious existence. Hence Dr. Sengupta felt the urge to study the science of life – i.e. Medicine. After he completed his higher secondary education from the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira in Belurmath, he joined the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) course at RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata. The professional packaging of knowledge in terms of a time-bound, goal-oriented syllabus frustrated him a bit, but nevertheless ignited the urge within him to study further. He thus went on to his post-graduation (MD) in Medicine from IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. During his MD training, he got a glimpse of the vastness of knowledge, and the quest to learn precisely the facts of life narrowed down his area of interest to the functioning of the kidneys and the specialisation of Nephrology – a discipline that is complex, yet relatively new and still evolving in terms of complete understanding of renal physiology and pathology. So, Dr. Sengupta decided to study and train for the DM (Doctorate of Medicine) degree in Nephrology. Right from the start of his career, Dr. Sengupta was passionate about Research. During the MD programme he worked on Cirrhotic Cardiomyopathy, Autonomic Neuropathy of Lupus, and Insulin resistance in Diabetics. All these research studies were published in national journals. During his postdoctoral study in Nephrology, he worked on Hemodialysis efficiency, and suggested an angular placement of the Dialyser in order to increase efficiency. This innovative concept was accepted for presentation at the World Congress of Nephrology, Milan, in 2009, and also published in Hemodialysis International. Dr. Sengupta also worked on Plasmapheresis – a blood filtering technique by which toxic and pathogenic immunoglobulins can be removed from the body. He studied the role of Prethymectomy Plasmapheresis in Myasthenia Gravis patients, and his findings were published in the journal Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The patient-empowered nutritional model for nutritional care of kidney patients is another interesting and innovative area in which Dr. Sengupta has worked for quite a long time. Dr.Pratim Sengupta won the Bharat Jyoti award for his excellency in the field of medicine. He is also the president of our non-governmental organization, The Kidney Care Society. His tireless contribution to provide quality living for his patients is worth mentioning. He introduced Mukti, blending ancient Indian yoga with modern medicine for well being of every patient. He has also introduced an unique online course "Art of Living with diabetes" which is a complete solution to diabetes management. He has authored many books, blogs, for the patients. Searching and researching for solutions to problems in the field of Nephrology remains the passion and dream of Dr. Pratim Sengupta, and he intends to persist on this journey as long as he is conscious. Meanwhile, even as he pursues his dreams, Dr. Sengupta diligently puts into practice all he has learned about Nephrology over the years, at the Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata and ILS hospital,Dumdum where he is available for his patient

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