Diabetes has a number of complications and discomforts associated with it. These complications include weight loss, sight problems, and most importantly problem in the feet. One of the major and most alarming complications is an diabetes is an unusual condition where the patient’s feet are susceptible to various kinds of infections. Although this is a very serious problem, it usually gets ignored. Doctors usually concentrate on problems involving other body parts like the eyes, kidneys and nerves etc.
But what causes this problem in the feet? One of the side effects of Diabetes is that the nerves and nerve endings start to loose all sensations especially in the feet. In order to understand this condition better, one must have a little understanding of the nerves. The nerves are divided into three parts. Each type of nerve has a specific function:
a. Sensory nerves: These type of nerves are the sensation carrying nerves of the body. They carry messages from various parts of the body to the brain. For example, it a part of the body gets hurt of cut, the sensory nerves carry message from the body part that has been cut to the brain.
b. Motor nerves: Motor Nerves are the nerves that carry out messages from the brain to the body part. These nerves tells the body how to respond to a particular situation. For example, if a person’s foot gets hurt, motor nerves sends message to the foot (from the brain) to remove the foot from the needle or device causing the cut or hurt.
c. Autonomic nerves: These nerve system mostly functions as under consciousness activities like digestion, heart rate, salivation etc.
Diabetic polyneuropathy is a fairly common problem faced by patients of diabetes. This disorder can affect either the whole body, or in some cases one part of the body. In diabetes neuropathy the nerve sensations are reduced. As a result, if a person cuts his foot, he will not feel the pain. In other words, the sensory nerves will not carry message to the brain fast enough for the patient to realize that his foot has been cut. On the other hand, the motor nerves will not carry messages from the brain advising the person to remove his foot from the needle causing the cut.
This leads to another complication, that any cut may worsen and infection may set in. A person may not notice this unless the foot is inspected regularly and well. The result of this condition is that the cuts and bruises may cause pain to a person’s lower limb while walking.
Although this condition is not curable, still the condition can be made better by keeping the feet warm. Do not allow the feet to be exposed to cold for long. Also massaging the feet daily will be of great help in increasing the blood circulation.