Can you guess which is the costliest complication of diabetes? Heart attacks followed by angioplasty or bypass? Kidney failure followed by dialysis? Eye damage? Studies have shown DIABETIC FOOT to be most prolonged and expensive complication of diabetes. Reasons can be manifolds which include loss of working capacity hence loss of income, delayed healing leading to multiple visits to surgeon for frequent dressings, costly medicines and finally poor quality of life!
Reasons for Foot diseases in diabetes are as follows;
1. Loss of pain sensation leading to exposure to frequent injury and ulceration
2. Loss of blood supply leading to poor healing
3. Lower immunity leading to resistant infections.
All above convert a simple looking abrasion on foot into a detrimental gangrene which may necessitate amputation and a long arduous process of dressings ,antibiotics, hospital visits and a never ending expenditure. Patient looses job, quality of life and goes into depression taking the whole family along with.
Hence periodic examination of foot in the form of
1. Examination by doctor
2. Examination by patient in mirror or by a relative for injury, corn, thickening sole , ingrown toenail, fungal infection in between toes, hot skin of foot, too cold skin of foot should alert patient or the relative.
3. Foot scan, neuropathy scan, colour Doppler can detect foot at risk and diabetic foot effectively. But they shoul be done as per doctor 's advice.
PREVENTION OF DIABETIC FOOT:
1. Never walk bare feet
2. Don't massage hot oils, irritating gels etc
3. Don't cut nails very deep
4. Don't wear ill fitting foot wear
5. Control diabetes well
6. Don't ignore corn, callosities. Don't cut them with blades etc.
7. Follow up with doctor as asked for.
In the end let me tell you that I've seen people selling their homes, jewellery to treat diabetic foot. PREVENTION IS BETTER AS CURE MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE!