Diabetes Damages the Nerve Endings and Blood Vessels in Your Feet

Diabetes Damages the Nerve Endings and Blood Vessels in Your Feet

When you have diabetes, your feet need extra care and attention. Diabetes damages the nerve endings and blood vessels in your feet, making you less likely to notice when your feet are injured. Diabetes also interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection. If you develop a minor foot injury, it could become an ulcer or develop into a serious infection. Ulcers can be found on the bottom of your feet, or on the top or bottom of your toes.

Diabetic foot is an umbrella term for foot problems in patients with diabetes mellitus. Due to arterial abnormalities and diabetic neuropathy, as well as a tendency to delayed wound healing, infection or gangrene of the foot is relatively common. Ten to fifteen percent of diabetic patients develop foot ulcers at some point in their lives and foot related problems are responsible for up to 50% of diabetes related hospital admissions.

Diabetic foot ulcer is one of the major complications of Diabetes mellitus. It occurs in 15% of all patients with diabetes and precedes 84% of all lower leg amputations. Major increase in mortality among diabetic patients, observed over the past 20 years is considered to be due to the development of macro and micro vascular complications, including failure of the wound healing process. Wound healing is a ‘make-up’ phenomenon for the portion of tissue that gets destroyed in any open or closed injury to the skin. Being a natural phenomenon, wound healing is usually taken care of by the body’s innate mechanism of action that works reliably most of the time. Key feature of wound healing is stepwise repair of lost extracellular matrix (ECM) that forms largest component of dermal skin layer. Therefore controlled and accurate rebuilding becomes essential to avoid under or over healing that may lead to various abnormalities. But in some cases, certain disorders or physiological insult disturbs the wound healing process that otherwise goes very smoothly in an orderly manner. Diabetes mellitus is one such metabolic disorder that impedes normal steps of the wound healing process.

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