Diabetes, if left uncontrolled can become a silent killer and affect any part of the body that includes your legs and feet. High blood glucose levels can destroy the nerves and cause poor blood circulation in the leg and foot leading to foot ulcers or leg amputation. People with diabetes have to accept the fact that good foot care forms an important aspect of Diabetes Management.
Risks and complications
Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and the blood supply.
Following are some of the risks and complications of the leg and feet if blood glucose levels are not under control:
- Swelling - Peripheral edema or swelling in the feet, ankles and legs is a result of circulation problems that diabetics may often suffer from.
- Venous insufficiency – A series of disorder in the veins can cause this condition wherein the valves of the veins fail to function properly thereby interfering with venous return. This further causes blood to pool in the vein. If venous insufficiency becomes chronic, it can lead to spider veins, varicose veins, phlebitis (inflammation of the veins), blood clots and changes in the skin.
- Venous Leg ulcer – This can be termed as the most serious outcome of venous insufficiency and takes a very long time to heal. The skin surrounding the ulcer becomes dry, itchy and reddish brown in color.
- Diabetic Foot - The most dreaded complication of diabetes is foot ulcers and gangrene.The skin, muscle and other tissues die due to poor or insufficient circulation. In many cases, legs are amputated to avoid further complications or death.
Doctors believe that maximum number of amputations can be easily prevented by patient education and proper or early wound care.
However, the cornerstone of prevention of diabetes is regular exercise, combating stress and a healthy diet plan. To learn about healthy tips for leg care read here.
Written by: Dr. Rohini
Edited by: C. Soni