Why Is The Diabetic Foot Ulcer So Bad?

diabetic foot ulcer

Great photo borrowed from: https://imgur.com/0D2VI

The diabetic foot ulcer is this thing which hides out in a dark cottage that everyone is scared of. Its worse than spiders (my nemesis).

Yet with all the scare there is very little understanding of actually why a diabetic foot ulcer is bad. People think:

  1. if you are a bad diabetic then you never get one "my friend drinks pop all the time"
  2. will never happen to me
  3. I always know my feet
  4. I can feel everything. I will know when I get one- don't you worry.

Now these points are not made up. Its what some diabetics have said.

The main point is that a diabetic foot ulcer can affect any Diabetic. The risk is extremely reduced if blood sugars are normal, you keep your feet safe and sound and you check them daily. However some things just happen.

So here are 9 reasons why a diabetic foot ulcer is so worrisome

  • patients tend not to initially feel them. A patient  will go about their daily life walking on an ulcer and this allows the ulcer to grow (wider and deeper rather than the ulcer actually “growing”) and become complicated
  • if you had no issues then a cut is usually sore and the body has a really good way of treating them. However a diabetic usually has complications that tend to reduce healing. Many have reduced circulation and other medical conditions.
  • diabetics have a normal slightly reduced immunity
  • in some cases the circulation is poor to allow adequate healing/getting antibiotics to the area
  • any ulcer can be quick to heal or take a really long time (years with some leg ulcers)
  • even when the ulcer is healed it will take 2 years to heal the underlying structures. If the ulceration starts again within 6 weeks then it is the original ulceration that wasn’t healed.
  • the foot is a complicated place to have an ulcer because you need your feet to walk- so any dressing under the foot tends to get squished out. Components of the foot like bone, tendon, muscle and ligaments tend to be in close proximity to one another and there is very little “padding” in the way of large muscle or fat. So any ulcerations complicate quickly and affect neighbouring structures.
  • foot ulcers especially can go from healing to bad in a very short space of time
  • bad blood sugar control reduces healing.

Here's how can you try and prevent a diabetic foot ulcer

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