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Do you know why diabetics need a regular foot exam?

Do you know why diabetics need a regular foot exam?

Last Reviewed : 12/24/2020
Do you know why diabetics need a regular foot exam?

Diabetes is a condition where there is insufficient production of insulin in the body by pancreas, leading to impaired blood glucose levels. The blood glucose levels are typically above normal. It is known as hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is associated with changes in the blood vessels. The changes are known as microangiopathic changes. These changes typically start in the small blood vessels or capillaries. The blood supply to the nerves and some of the major organs is via these capillaries.

Human Body and Microangiopathy

There are numerous small blood vessels and nerves in hands and feet. Due to microangiopathic changes in the foot, the nerves that carry sensations from the foot to brain will be affected, leading to neuropathy. It is known as diabetic neuropathy where the patient typically complains of loss of sensation of the feet.

Diabetic neuropathy, microangiopathy and elevated blood sugar increase the risk of infection to the sole and foot even after minor trauma. Hyperglycemia leads to rapid replication of microorganisms, and neuropathy does not allow brain to recognize the pain associated with it due which the minor trauma goes unnoticed for many days. It will be perceived only after the person develops an ulcer.

Why Your Feet Need Regular Examination

Since neuropathy is very common in diabetes, the diabetic individuals should regularly have to undergo foot examination (neurological assessment) to keep even the minor trauma or pricks in check as most of them go unnoticed.

The care of foot is called as Chiropody. It can be done by individuals at home. The sole is hard to inspect, and it is the most commonly prone area for infections and minor trauma. A mirror should be placed near the undersurface of the foot and then should be visually inspected. Later, the sole and the area between the toes should be palpated with fingers to confirm the inspector’s findings.

There are many cases reported where a minor prick had lead to amputation of the foot. So, all the diabetic individuals should take care of the feet to prevent morbidity associated with it.

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