There are many possible complications to being diabetic, but one that a person should pay special attention to is the diabetic foot, a common issue among sufferers of the disease. Because diabetes has negative effects on the renal, circulatory, and nervous systems, problems with the feet can start without warning and quickly develop into a serious issue. In most cases, the nervous system becomes impaired and the body does not respond to physical activity by producing sweat and oils that aid in the natural lubrication of the feet. This condition is characterized by sores that appear because of the lack of this lubrication.
The main issue with the diabetic foot is that once it starts, it can be very difficult for healing to occur. The sores are very susceptible to bacterial infections, which can spread to the bones, tendons, and muscles that are present in the feet. In extreme cases, a person with diabetes can see a small sore on their feet quickly turn into gangrene. If it is not treated within a reasonable amount of time, amputation of the affected leg may be necessary to prevent the spread of the infection. The symptoms that a diabetic foot sore may be forming are easy bruising, a red coloration, or swelling in the legs or feet.
For treatment, a patient with diabetes who has started to notice foot ulcers will need to see a physician. The doctor may apply antibiotics to the area to see if they can help control the infection. If general antibiotics are not effective, the patient may be admitted to the hospital and treated with IV antibiotics over a period of time. In bad cases, a surgical operation may be needed to remove the wound to get rid of the bacterial infection. To prevent a new case of the diabetic foot from forming, the patient will need to rest the leg in question until it is healed.