Diabetics are susceptible to foot ulcers. Poor blood circulation combined with numbness in the feet owing to diabetic neuropathy significantly slows down the wound repair process, complicating the foot injury, which might even lead to amputation.
However, with good foot care, by wearing proper footwear and by keeping the blood sugar level under control, the risk of developing foot ulcers can be diminished. Despite regular care, if an ulcer develops in the feet, it can be cured with proper treatment.
Treatment For Diabetic Foot Ulcers
An infected wound in the leg is primarily treated with antibiotics. Less serious foot ulcers are treated with antibiotic ointments and pills. If no improvement is noticeable within a day or two after using the antibiotic medication, your physician might change the drug. Serious foot ulcers might require hospitalization. Stubborn wounds are treated with intravenous antibiotic injections to accelerate the healing process. To increase the effectiveness of the medication, blood sugar level needs to be lowered with medicines and diet.
The role of footwear in the diabetic foot ulcer treatment process should not be overlooked. Physicians usually refer patients with foot ulcers to specialists who design shoes to relieve pressure from the site of the injury.
Although most cases of diabetic foot ulcers can be cured with antibiotics, in a small number of cases surgery is carried out to remove the pressure from the foot ulcer site. Surgeries help to correct certain deformities on the foot such as bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs and flat feet. Your physician might ask you to visit a podiatrist who can cure corns, calluses and ingrown toenails.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Radix Rehmanniae and Radix Astragali are widely recommended for treating foot ulcers. Laboratory studies have revealed that herbal preparations containing these herbs can heal foot ulcers even in people with uncontrolled diabetes that do not respond to insulin treatment. Peripheral circulation in diabetics can be improved with ginseng, ginkgo, goldenseal and burdock. Cayenne can boost circulation and improve the sensation in the feet.
According to an Italian study, regular intake of French maritime pine bark extract can rapidly heal foot ulcers in diabetics. The active components in the pine bark supports wound healing by improving glucose metabolism, increasing circulation and reducing inflammation.In Ayurveda, herbal preparations containing antibacterial herbs such as Tinospora cordifolia, Embilica, officinalis, Rubia cordifolia, Gycyrrhiza glabra, Balasmodendron mukul and Moringa psterygosperma are used for treating diabetic foot ulcers.
In a study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Eau Claire found that applying honey on the ulcer helps to cure the wound.
In diabetics, reduction in nitric oxide production slows down the wound repairing mechanism. Nitric oxide synthesis can be facilitated by consuming folic acid supplements. Vitamin A is also beneficial for diabetics suffering from foot ulcers. In a University of California, San Diego study, researchers found that tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative, commonly used for treating acne, can heal diabetic foot ulcer. Increasing consumption of vitamin C might assist wound repair. The infected wound can be cured speedily with zinc supplements.