Diabetic ulcers are an unpleasant and distressing complication of diabetes. If you develop a diabetic ulcer, visit Mikael Sarij, MD, at Evolve Medical in Farmingdale on New York’s Long Island. He provides expert assessment and treatment of diabetic ulcers, including advanced hyperbaric oxygen therapy. To receive outstanding diabetic ulcer care, call Evolve Medical today or book an appointment using the online form.
Diabetic ulcers are open wounds or sores that develop as a complication of diabetes. These ulcers commonly appear on the bottom of the feet but could develop anywhere on the lower leg.
Diabetic ulcers often get infected, hastening tissue deterioration. A badly infected ulcer could develop gangrene, where the limb starts to die. In severe cases, patients require limb amputation to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the body.
Diabetic ulcers typically arise when you have hyperglycemia — elevated levels of sugar in your blood. Unregulated blood sugar is the key symptom of diabetes, affecting multiple organs and tissues throughout your body. Uncontrolled hyperglycemia can lead to blindness, organ failure, limb amputation, and premature death.
Patients with diabetes are prone to diabetic ulcers because hyperglycemia causes two serious problems in the lower limbs:
Hyperglycemia damages the blood vessels throughout your body. Your legs and feet are far away from your heart, so if you have any circulation problems, they’re likely to affect your feet first. Your veins might struggle to return blood to your heart, depriving your feet of the oxygen, nutrients, and healing substances in your blood.
Hyperglycemia also damages the nerves in your feet, causing diabetic peripheral neuropathy. You might develop pain, tingling, prickling, and burning sensations in your feet when you have neuropathy. The problem that triggers diabetic ulcers is numbness in your feet, which prevents you from realizing you have an injury.
If you have irritated or wounded feet, you may be unaware because the numbness prevents you from feeling pain. The wound doesn’t heal properly, and the tissues start breaking down because of restricted circulation. The result is a diabetic ulcer.
The first step in treating diabetic ulcers is to clean the wound. This might involve surgical removal of dead and infected tissue, a process called debridement.
Evolve Medical clinicians use their specialized wound care skills and knowledge to dress the wound, keeping it free of infection and encouraging healing. They also use hyperbaric oxygen therapy to boost natural healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing in pure oxygen while sitting in a pressurized environment. This helps to deliver the oxygen your tissues need to heal.
To learn more about advanced diabetic ulcer treatments, call Evolve Medical today or book an appointment online.