One important thing that all diabetics should learn are the standard diabetic foot ulcer treatment guidelines that follow diabetic foot care best practices. As we all know diabetes patients are faced with a myriad of health problems stemming from diabetes, foot problems like diabetic peripheral neuropathy of the feet is one major problem as is diabetic peripheral artery disease. Foot ulcers to some extent are a result of both of these diabetic complications so the treatment of them has to fall in line with the treatment of both foot conditions.
Guidelines For Treating Diabetic Foot Ulcers
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Official guidelines for treating foot ulcerations were set by the American Diabetes Association in 1999. They are slightly different than you might treat a diabetic foot wound at home but then again depending on the severity of your ulcerations you wouldn’t want to fully treat the wound yourself, only a professional physician should perform many of these official steps such as assessing the surrounding tissue, measuring the depth of the ulceration, checking for infection, evaluation of the surrounding vascular system, or probing the ulcer.
What you can do yourself in the case of early diabetic wounds is to take what steps you can to improve circulation to the feet, protect the foot from further irritation, clean the wound to dissuade potential infections, and keep the wound from getting to dry or to moist. Infections are the worst thing that can happen with foot ulcerations that do not readily heal so it is vital that you take major steps right away to treat foot ulcers and consult a doctor for professional treatment as soon as possible.
Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulcerations
The most important part of treating and preventing foot ulcerations is addressing the two factors mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article. You need to protect your feet against the affects of diabetic neuropathy of the feet by wearing the correct foot wear. Diabetic shoes should be worn at all times in appropriate types for the activity at hand. For instance when working outdoors you should be wearing diabetic work boot, when lounging around the house you need to be wearing the best diabetic slippers money can buy, and when exercising you need to be wearing the best diabetic walking shoes you can find. Each of these will help prevent ulcerations from forming in the first place.
But even more importantly to both treat and prevent diabetic foot ulcers you need to address the main problem behind the festering wound. A foot ulcer won’t heal because it is not getting adequate blood flow to the region. Infections start because white blood cells cannot get to the wound to combat the bacteria and antibiotics don’t work well because blood flow is the primary delivery mechanism for antibiotics to the area. To effectively treat the poor blood flow you need to take steps appropriate to improve blood flow through the arteries in the area. In simplistic terms this means lowering blood cholesterol levels, increasing activity and exercise levels to both lower weight and improve circulation, and massaging the leg to stimulate better blood flow.
Diabetic foot ulcers are serious business. They can be the catalyst for infections that do not go away. Infections of this magnitude have the potential of spreading into the bone or the blood stream which puts the entire health of the patient at risk and is responsible for many foot amputations. If you have diabetes make sure you put in the energy to maintain normal blood sugar levels as best as you can and get proper diabetic foot ulcer treatment from a physician as soon as possible.