This Monday we commemorated World Diabetes Day, a chronic disease that affects the way the body converts food into energy, that is, the amount of glucose in the blood. It is a pathology that, with a correct diagnosis, treatment and medical monitoring is usually controlled without any problems. However, it carries associated complications, such as diabetic foot, which is very important to prevent and detect in time. Today we will dedicate our health blog entry to explaining what diabetic foot is, how to detect this problem in time and why it occurs.
Carlos Perucha, podiatrist specialist in diabetic foot at the Torrejón University Hospital, managed by the Ribera health group, explains that, according to the World Health Organization, diabetic foot syndrome is “ulceration, infection and/or gangrene of the foot associated with diabetic neuropathy and varying degrees of peripheral vascular disease (PVD), resulting from the interaction of different factors induced by sustained hyperglycemia”.
First symptoms of diabetic foot
Perucha assures that “the most important thing is to have good metabolic control, that is to say, of the levels of glucose, cholesterol, etc.” and insists on the need to be aware of associated symptoms to detect the disease early. “The problem with diabetes is that it is a pathology that does not cause pain, but that gradually affects organs such as the kidneys, eyes, circulation and, of course, the feet,” he explains.
The first symptoms to which we must pay attention, in the case of suffering from diabetes, are:
- Calf pain that forces us to stop walking. It can be a sign of peripheral vascular disease.
- Signs like tingling, cramping, stuffy feeling in the feet. May be compatible with diabetic neuropathy.
- Foot deformity
- Blisters, rubs or small injuries that can get complicated in a matter of days.
Diabetic foot complication: amputation
The Torrejón University Hospital is one of the few public hospitals that has a podiatrist specializing in this pathology derived from diabetes, which affects 25% of patients who suffer from it. “If these ulcers are not treated correctly, the most frequent thing is that they become complicated and end in an amputation which, depending on the case, can be minor (affecting only the foot) or major, reaching the point of losing the leg”, explains Perucha, which provides some worrying data. “Spain has the highest amputation data in adult patients with diabetes, above other European countries such as France, Great Britain or Italy, as we have a higher amputation rate in adults with diabetes of 52 per 100,000 inhabitants”, he says.
14% of the population in Spain has diabetes, that is to say, around 6 million people, and both the incidence of type 2 diabetes, the most common (90-95% of cases), and type 1 diabetes , grows every year. It is estimated that 40% of people with diabetes are unaware of their condition.
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