Dr. Arjun Sathyanarayana | Endovascular Surgeon in Bangalore

Dr. Arjun Sathyanarayana

Consultant - General Surgery & Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

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Dr. Arjun Sathyanarayana | Endovascular Surgeon in Bangalore
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Dr. Arjun Sathyanarayana

Consultant - General Surgery & Vascular and Endovascular Surgery

Manipal Hospitals, Malleshwaram

Diabetic Foot: Causes, Symptoms, And Best Practices To Manage

Posted On: May 13, 2024

blogs read 5 Min Read

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Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a chronic disorder that affects our body’s blood sugar (glucose) control systems. Globally, diabetes affects hundreds of millions of individuals. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) shows that around 537 million adults between 20 and 79 years of age were diagnosed with diabetes in 2021. Not just this, complications of long-standing diabetes mellitus may lead to serious foot sores and infections – called Diabetic Foot. Proper diabetic foot care is essential for diabetics to prevent these complications. Read on to learn more about this condition and how to care for diabetic foot.


Understanding Diabetic Foot & Causes:

Diabetic foot involves various complications. It is generally caused by nerve damage (neuropathy) and reduced blood circulation (peripheral arterial disease), creating a perfect storm for foot problems. 

Most Common Risk Factors for Diabetic Foot Include:

  • Long-term uncontrolled diabetes: The risk of nerve damage and poor circulation increases as the duration of diabetes increases.

  • Poor blood sugar control: Continuously elevated blood sugar levels speed up nerve damage and hinder healing processes.

  • Smoking: Smoking causes blood vessels to narrow – this decreases blood flow to the feet even more.

  • Foot deformities: Foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes raise pressure on the foot. This makes you more susceptible to developing foot ulcers.

An expert medical professional can greatly help you to detect diabetic foot on time. However, you must also stay cautious about the potential signs. Pay attention to the following indicators and consult your doctor immediately at a top general surgery hospital in Malleshwaram

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Foot

What Happens If Diabetic Foot is Untreated?

Undiagnosed and untreated diabetic foot can negatively impact your daily life. These include:

  1. If you become unable to feel the pain of injuries or pressure points, open sores may develop on your feet – they are called Foot Ulcers. 

  2. Poor blood circulation, combined with ulcers, can breed bacteria – this leads to Infections spreading rapidly.

  3. Diabetic foot can also cause Gangrene - which often starts in the toes. This condition destroys your tissues because of compromised blood flow. It can even result in leg amputation if neglected.

  4. A rare diabetic foot complication is Charcot Foot – which breaks down the bones in your feet. You can face difficulty walking. This can also increase your chances of infections.

  5. Diabetes can cause bone infection, called Osteomyelitis – the treatment for which is often surgery.

So, if you want to set these complexities out of your life, do what is necessary. Consult an experienced general surgeon and start your journey to diabetic foot care.

Treating and Managing Diabetic Foot

There are plenty of treatment options that can help manage your diabetic foot condition.


The first step of the treatment plan often involves a course of antibiotics. The dosage and type of the medicine will depend on your specific infection. Discuss with your doctor first before taking any self-medicated approach to diabetic foot care. Your doctor can also prescribe pain relievers to help you ease the agony of ulcers or other issues.

Supportive Wearables

There are special shoes, braces, or casts that can help reduce pressure on your foot. They distribute pressure evenly throughout your feet. You may be surprised to know that these shoes can also accommodate foot deformities and assist in preventing further injuries.


Physical therapy and other rehabilitation measures can become helpful in diabetic foot care. You will be given certain exercises to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling and pain. Your mobility and foot functions will also improve with these rehabilitation therapies. Oxygen therapy may sometimes be needed where you will be put in a pressurised chamber and inhale pure oxygen. This improves your blood flow to a great extent. 


In severe cases, surgery becomes the last resort for some patients to: 

  • Remove infected or dead tissue from the ulcer.

  • Open blocked arteries to better blood flow.

Amputation of the foot becomes inevitable when no other surgical or therapeutic measures can prevent the spread of infections.

For the most effective diabetic foot treatment plan, visit Manipal Hospital Malleshwaram and book your consultation with our top general surgeon in Bangalore.


A signature symptom of diabetic foot is a change in its colour and temperature. Your toenails may get thicker and yellowish. There might be frequent blisters or cuts on your feet, and you might be unable to feel the pain. It is best to go for check-ups regularly if you have diabetes. 

Usually, a combination method of medications, rehabilitation therapy, and preventive measures can keep your condition in check. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Whether your situation is completely curable or not can only be prompted by your doctor. 

The first step is to check your feet daily and ensure there are no cuts, blisters, swelling, etc. Maintain proper foot care by washing them regularly with lukewarm water. Keep your feet moisturized. Meet your doctor and follow his advice on diabetic foot care measures. 

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