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Diabetes mellitus affects every single organ system. The circulating level of blood glucose is too high, this is called hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemic patients are at increased risk of infection because of decreased effective circulation and the bacteria that cause infection thrive on the high levels of blood glucose. The bacteria use the glucose as food.
Diabetic patients are instructed to take extra care of their skin and feet because if they sustain even the smallest of injuries (cuts,abrasions) their bodies will not heal normally because of the high levels of circulating blood sugar(glucose).
This is so critical that diabetics are instructed not to trim their own toenails, rather they should regularly visit a podiatrist (foot doctor) to get the nails trimmed.
The good news is that with proper nutrition, exercise, and medical follow-up diabetes mellitus is easily controlled.
Skin problems can become very serious for a person who has diabetes. People with diabetes generally have a decrease in circulation. The American Diabetes Association estimated that approximately 33% of people with diabetes will at some point have skin complications.
There are several types of skin problems that diabetics are prone to, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, and diabetic blisters. There are many other complications as well. If these issues are not caught quickly and taken care of they can lead to very serious problems such as amputation.
Diabetics are prone to sores, especially on their feet. There are two main reasons why diabetics sores take longer to heal than the general population's. The first is that people with diabetes can have decreased blood flow. When blood flow is reduced to a sore or wound it will take longer to heal. The second reason diabetic's sores take longer to heal is the high number of patients with neuropathy. This condition impacts the individual's ability to feel sensations in their hands and feet. If they are not feeling the pain associated with a sore or wound, they are less likely to notice it. Due to this, many sores or wounds are able to progress to significant cases before they are noticed by the individual.
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