Understanding Diabetic Ulcers

In 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that almost 22 million adults have been diagnosed with diabetes. There are several reasons this staggering number is so concerning, but one which should not be ignored is the effect the disease can have on the health of your feet. Diabetes can heighten the risk of several serious medical issues, including the possible onset of gangrene caused by diabetic ulcers.

These ulcers are open wounds or sores. They are more likely to be sustained by patients who have diabetes, because the disease impairs the body’s ability to heal itself. More than that, though, the disease also often results in nerve damage (neuropathy).

Diabetes compromises the immune system, which means it cannot effectively fight off infection. Combined with open sores that do not heal, this creates a situation in which gangrene (irreversible tissue death) becomes a distinct possibility.

When you have diabetes, it is essential you understand how important it is to practice proper foot care on a regular basis. Foot care is important everyone, but this particular disease places your lower limbs at heightened risk for serious medical emergencies. (Diabetic foot ulcers are a leading cause of lower limb amputations.) This means you should take measures like daily foot inspections and seeking early treatment for anything out of the ordinary in your feet if you have diabetes.

Diabetic foot ulcers are serious medical issues, but you can take steps to prevent them from developing in the first place. Some of the best prevention methods when you already have a high risk factor include quitting smoking and alcohol use, lowering your cholesterol levels (adhering to a healthy diet will help), and managing glucose levels if you are diabetic.

Of course, another smart way to prevent dangerous foot problems like a diabetic ulcer is to connect with our medical staff here at Houston Foot Specialists. We have the experience, skill, and knowledge you should expect from a foot doctor office here in Houston, TX. Contact us for more information about diabetic foot care—or any lower limb issues you might have questions about—by calling (713) 467-8886, and we will be glad to help. You can also request an appointment with us online today, right here on our website.