The causes of diabetes
Sometimes excess weight leads to insulin resistance and is common in people with chronic diabetes. Body fat distribution also plays a role. Excess belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Chronic diabetes generally begins with insulin resistance, which occurs when the muscle, liver, and fat cells do not respond properly to insulin. More insulin is required by the body to help glucose enter the cells. To meet the increased demand, the pancreas first generates an excessive amount of insulin. As the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin for the human body, blood glucose levels rise. Genes can also increase the chance of getting diabetes.
Complications of diabetes
High blood sugar levels can seriously damage parts of the body such as the feet. But you can take action to avoid the side effects of diabetes.
7keema Healthcare team talks about two types of Complications of diabetes:
Serious Complications of diabetes that accumulate over time are chronic complications and those that can occur at any time are called acute complications.
Chronic complications of diabetes:
They are diabetes-related problems that develop gradually and over time, and they can cause serious damage if not treated promptly.
Here are some chronic complications of diabetes:
- Eye problems (retinopathy)
Some diabetics develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy that greatly affects their eyesight. However, if retinopathy is detected through an eye test, it can be treated and the complications that lead to vision loss can be prevented.
- Foot problems
Diabetic foot problems, if they develop, become serious and can lead to amputation if not treated. The presence of nerve damage can also affect the loss of feeling in the feet and high blood sugar can damage the circulatory system, making it slower to heal from sores and wounds. That’s why it’s best to seek the help of healthcare professionals if you notice any change in the way your feet look or feel.
- Heart attack and stroke
When you are diabetic, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels, sometimes leading to heart attacks and strokes.
- Kidney problems (nephropathy)
Diabetes can damage the kidneys in the future, which makes it difficult to get rid of excess fluids and waste from the body, and the patient may resort to dialysis, and this happens because of high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure as well.
- Nerve damage (neuropathy)
Some diabetics may develop nerve damage, which is a common complication of high blood sugar levels. This can lead to the inability of the nerves to transmit messages between the brain and every part of the body, affecting vision, hearing, movement of the body, and all its functions.
- Gum disease and some problems in the mouth
High blood sugar can lead to excess sugar in saliva, which brings in bacteria that produce acid that attacks tooth enamel and damages gums. It can also damage the blood vessels in the gums, which increases the possibility of gum infection.
- Some related diseases, such as cancer
Diabetics in some late stages are more likely to develop certain types of cancer. And some cancer treatments can affect diabetes and make it harder to control your blood sugar.
severe Complications of diabetes:
Acute Complications of Diabetes can occur at any time and may lead to chronic or long-term complications.
- Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar is too low or too high.
- Hyperglycemic state (HHS) – a life-threatening emergency that only occurs in people with type 2 diabetes.
- A complication of diabetes is severe dehydration.
- Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – a complication of diabetes where a lack of insulin and high blood sugar lead to a buildup of ketones.
Are diabetic foot ulcers one of the complications of diabetes?
A diabetic foot ulcer is a wound that affects about 16 percent of people with diabetes and is usually located on the bottom of the foot. Of those who develop a foot ulcer, 6 percent are hospitalized for infection or other Complications of diabetes
associated with diabetic foot ulcers.
One of the complications of diabetes is amputation of the lower extremities, and studies indicated that about 14 to 24 percent of diabetic patients who develop foot ulcers have an amputation. However, research has shown that the development of foot ulcers is preventable.
Who is more at risk of Complications of diabetes?
Any diabetic can develop diabetic foot ulcers. People who resort to insulin are more likely to develop diabetic foot ulcers, as well as patients who suffer from some chronic diseases such as kidney, eye, and heart diseases associated with diabetes. Being overweight and using alcohol and tobacco also play a role in the development of foot ulcers.
How do diabetic foot ulcers form?
Ulcers form due to several factors such as loss of feeling in the foot, poor circulation, deformities of the foot and irritation (such as friction or pressure), trauma, and also the duration of diabetes. Patients who have had diabetes for several years can develop neuropathy, which is a partial or complete lack of ability to feel pain in the feet due to nerve damage caused by high blood sugar over time. Nerve damage can occur without pain and patients may not be aware of the disease. But a podiatrist can test the feet for neuropathy using a simple and painless instrument called a monofilament.
Vascular disease can also make diabetic foot ulcers worse, reducing the body’s ability to heal and increasing the risk of infection. High blood glucose can reduce the body’s ability to fight off a potential infection and also delay recovery.
What are the indications for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers?
As soon as a sore begins to appear, seek medical care at home immediately. The main goal of treating a foot ulcer is to get care as quickly as possible. The faster the wound heals and the home away from the risk of infection, the fewer chances of infection and the avoidance of its complications.
There are several key steps to avoid Complications of diabetes
as foot ulcers:
- Prevent infection by seeking wound care at home.
- Reducing pressure on the area called “unloading”.
- Removing dead skin
- Putting ointments or bandages on the ulcer
- Monitor blood glucose levels and other health problems
Prevent complications of diabetes.
Here are several key factors to prevent ulcers from developing:
- Maintain blood glucose levels.
- Keep the sore clean and bandaged.
- Clean the wound daily.
- Don’t walk barefoot.
- Wearing comfortable customized shoes with the use of a wheelchair or crutches to reduce pressure and irritation in the ulcer area and to help speed up the healing process.
How can diabetic foot ulcers be prevented?
Treating diabetic foot ulcers begins with preventing their development. Recommended guidelines include seeing a wounds specialist regularly or having a specialist at home who can determine if you are at high risk of developing a foot ulcer and follow healthy prevention strategies.
You are more likely to face Complications of diabetes
if you have:
- Poor circulation
- Deformity of the foot (such as a bunion or hammer toe)
- If you wear uncomfortable shoes
- Your blood sugar levels are unstable
Also reduce additional risk factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. All are key factors in the prevention and treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Wearing comfortable shoes and socks greatly reduces the risk. Your orthopedist can give you guidance on how to choose the right shoes.
Learning to notice your feet is very important in spotting potential problems early. Check your feet every day, especially between the toes and the foot, to see if you have cuts, bruises, cracks, blisters, redness, sores, and any signs of abnormality. Each time you go to a health care doctor, take off your shoes and socks so that they can fully examine your feet. Any problems that are discovered, even if they are minor to you, should be reported to a specialist as soon as possible.
Successful wound healing begins with the specialist’s regular medical care to lower blood sugar, appropriate wound debridement, treat any infection, reduce friction and pressure, and restore adequate blood flow.
How can we take care of diabetic foot wounds resulting from complications of diabetes?
Diabetic foot wound care focuses on providing a healthy environment within the wound to help new skin cells move through the wound. This is done by keeping the wound slightly moist. Clean the wound regularly and use antibiotic ointment medicine on the wound as directed by the doctor.
Sometimes, some ointments can help treat wounds that have a sticky yellow substance that looks like a burn wound. Other ointments for diabetic foot wounds include topical antibacterial ointments or creams that can be applied to help keep the wound clean. After cleaning the wound and applying ointment, cover the wound with a clean gauze pad.
Keeping the wound covered and moist is important. Conversely, ventilating the wound helps it heal faster. But with diabetic foot the opposite is true. Because the wound will heal faster if there is a moist layer under the covering bandage. The only exception is when the wound is exuding excessively from the inside, which requires a more absorbent pad.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels, diabetics know very well how important it is to monitor their blood sugar levels. This is especially important if you have a wound on the foot, i.e. a diabetic foot ulcer. When blood glucose levels are high, they work to prevent white blood cells from healing tissues. High glucose levels can also lead to disease of the small blood vessels and also limit blood flow around the wound. This greatly helps in wound healing.