What is diabetic foot syndrome?
Diabetic foot syndrome refers to a group of complications that can occur in people with diabetes and are caused by nerve and circulatory disorders in the foot. It is a serious condition that can lead to wounds, infection, and in severe cases even amputation of the affected foot or leg.
What are the causes of diabetic foot syndrome?
Diabetic foot syndrome is caused by a combination of factors that are common in people with diabetes. This includes:
- Nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy):
High blood sugar levels can damage the nerves in the feet, leading to reduced sensitivity. This means that injuries and infections may not be detected in time or may go unnoticed.
- Circulatory disorders (diabetic angiopathy):
Diabetes can also damage the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in the feet. Poor circulation can cause wounds and injuries to heal more slowly or even get worse.
Diabetes patients have a higher risk of developing infections, especially in the feet. Decreased immunity and poor blood sugar control can contribute to infections spreading more easily and being harder to treat.
- Foot deformities:
Diabetes can also change the structure of the feet, which can lead to pressure points and friction. This, in turn, can also lead to blisters, sores, and infections.
- Bad shoe choice:
Poorly fitting shoes that pinch or rub can also lead to sores and infections.
How are the complications manifested?
Diabetic foot syndrome can present with a variety of symptoms, including:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet
- pain or burning in the feet
- Weakness in the muscles of the foot or lower leg
- Dry or cracked skin on feet
- Changes in the color of the skin on your feet, such as redness or paleness
- Thickening of the nails on the feet
- Changes in foot shape or toe placement, such as hammer toes or clubfoot
- Ulcers or open sores on your feet that won't heal or get worse
- swelling in your feet or ankles
- Nail infections or fungus on the feet
People with diabetic foot syndrome may not feel any pain or discomfort because diabetic neuropathy can affect the ability to feel pain.
Therefore, regular monitoring and examination of the feet of patients with diabetes is particularly important to minimize the risk of complications. When a patient exhibits symptoms of diabetic foot syndrome, it is important to see a doctor quickly and have a thorough exam to allow for an accurate diagnosis and early treatment.
How is diabetic foot syndrome treated?
Treating diabetic foot ulcers usually requires a holistic approach aimed at addressing the causes and effects of the condition. In general, treatment includes the following measures:
- wound care:
Treating open sores or ulcers on your feet is an important part of diabetic foot treatment. The wound is usually cleaned and covered with a sterile bandage. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove dead or infected tissue.
- Infection control:
If an infection is present, antibiotic therapy may be necessary to fight the infection. It is important to continue antibiotic therapy to the end to ensure that the infection has completely cleared.
- Blood Sugar Control:
Blood sugar control is an important part of preventing diabetic foot syndrome. By controlling blood sugar levels, secondary diseases such as neuropathy and circulatory disorders can be reduced.
- Shoe and foot care:
Patients with diabetic foot syndrome should wear shoes that fit well and do not cause pressure points or friction. Regular foot care such as washing and drying your feet, nail clipping and filing are also important.
- Circulation-enhancing measures:
In some cases it may be necessary to improve blood circulation in the foot. This can be achieved through exercise, a healthy diet and, in some cases, medication.
- Surgical interventions:
In severe cases of diabetic foot syndrome, a (partial) amputation may be necessary to prevent the infection from spreading or further damage to the foot or leg.
The treatment of diabetic foot syndrome requires close cooperation between the patient and the treating physician. It is important to visit the doctor regularly and to follow self-care instructions and lifestyle changes to minimize the effects of the condition. In order to detect diabetic foot syndrome at an early stage, temperature monitoring can be a supportive measure.
What is the purpose of measuring the temperature of the feet?
Elevated temperature values can indicate possible incipient inflammation, which can lead to complications in patients with diabetic foot syndrome, for example. In addition to daily foot checks, several studies have shown the positive effects of regular plantar temperature measurements.
The studies mentioned below were not carried out with intelligent shoe inserts.
The first indications of this came as early as 1975 in a study by Bergtholdt and Brand .
The International Working Group on Diabetic Foot (IWGDF) led by Prof. Dr. Bus has already included regular foot temperature checks as a recommendation in its guidelines .
Further studies indicate that over 70% (sometimes even over 90%) of foot complications were detected early through temperature measurements.
How can the intelligent shoe inserts from osentec support?
The intelligent shoe inserts from osentec use tiny sensors to measure the temperature of the soles of the feet and detect differences from as little as 0.1°C. The associated app compares the recorded values with each other and sends a message as soon as the temperature differences last longer than 48 hours. In this way, we support the initiation of measures at an early stage and thus a preventive reaction to possible ulcers and wounds.
We would be happy to advise you on the advantages of an accompanying measure using our intelligent shoe inserts. Visit our osentec website for more information on how the insoles work and how they can contribute to well-being. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 0395 3511 6213.