While amputations are a last resort, some diabetic patients have to have feet and toes removed due to frequent infections. The best way to avoid this kind of surgery is to manage your blood sugar as best as you can. If you have diabetes and are having frequent foot infections, you may be wondering why that is and how to stop it. Read on to learn more about foot complications due to diabetes and how an unorthodox therapy can help:
Why Does Diabetes Cause Frequent Foot Infections?
As a diabetic, the nerves in your feet may become damaged. This means that not only will you be less sensitive to hot or cold sensations, but you may have less sensitive pain receptors. If your foot is damaged, you may inadvertently put too much pressure on it, or bones could become improperly aligned. Not only do pain receptors raise the risk of foot injury, but the slower flow of blood can as well. Diabetics often have poor circulation, so wounds heal much more slowly and can become infected easier. This is why it's always a good idea to check your feet every day before you get out of bed. Foot ulcers are common, but they can be stopped in their tracks if you're diligent.
What is Maggot Therapy and How Can it Help?
The therapy is as gross as it sounds: your doctor will use live maggots to treat your wound. While this therapy may initially gross you out, you shouldn't discount it just yet. Maggots have been used in the medical field for a long time. Their natural secretions can speed up healing processes in wounds. And if a wound that needs to be cleaned or necrotic tissue removed, maggots can do this much more easily than a sharp debridement tool. While some maggots feed on both living and dead tissue, maggots that are used in the medical field will only eat diseased or dead tissue. As you can see, although it's a disgusting prospect, maggots can be quite helpful if you have a foot infection that is having trouble healing.
Of course, there are some conditions for this therapy to work. A wound has to be moist and have a sufficient oxygen supply for the maggots to work. Sometimes a doctor can apply a saline solution beforehand to meet this requirement.
Some people are worried that they will have to see or feel the maggots. The good news is that once the maggots are applied to the wound, the doctor will enclose them in a bag and use a dressing that will minimize their movement. Once your foot is wrapped up, you can go home and let the maggots clean out the wound, and then at your next appointment, your doctor will flush out the maggots with saline. Some patients can experience a little pain with this therapy, but over-the-counter medication should be enough.
If you are worried about a foot infection, contact a foot clinic like Collier Podiatry PA to see what he or she can do.Share
3 November 2017
When I developed tendinitis of my foot and ankle, my podiatrist helped me on the road to recovery. An over-use injury from the job caused me considerable pain in my foot and ankle. Ice, elevation, rest, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory relieved my inflammation of the tendons. My podiatrist also prescribed physical therapy, which helped restore my mobility. Gentle stretching exercises performed during physical therapy seemed to have a positive effect. I was shown how to follow up these exercises at home. After several weeks of following doctor's orders, my podiatrist was happy with the results. The bottom line is if you're suffering from foot pain or injury, you should see a foot specialist as soon as possible because treatment options are available.