What happens if I don’t treat my diabetic foot ulcer?

You don’t even want to go there, believe me! Diabetic foot ulcers are serious, so don’t mess around. Get them treated right as soon as you notice the problem, before it gets worse.

In advanced cases of diabetes, a patient may experience diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which frequently numbs the patient’s feet. But when you can’t feel your feet, you can’t feel any problems like sores or wounds.  Unfortunately, the diabetic’s foot also doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen due to circulation issues, so even minor boo-boos can quickly become infected and turn into nasty ulcers.

Despite the fact that diabetic foot ulcers look really gross, many patients do not seek treatment right away. Some just hope it will heal on its own (which it probably won’t). I’ve heard others complain that they just had too many doctor’s appointments already. I completely understand that, but what’s worse – another doctor’s appointment, or losing a foot? Personally, I’d opt for the appointment.

If a diabetic foot ulcer goes untreated and you continue to walk around on it, the wound will deepen into the muscles, tendons and bones.  At that point, a hospital stay and surgery are almost guaranteed, because we need to drain the infection and clear things up.  Even then, there’s still a risk that the wound won’t heal.  And long-term infections like this can be life-threatening. In some cases, a wound gets so dangerous that the toe or even foot has to be amputated.

Of course, all of this can usually be avoided. If you have advanced diabetes, check your feet daily for any sign of injury or infection. If you notice any problems, call us right away for an appointment. If we can catch it early, it will make a significant difference.

If you are suffering from a diabetic foot ulcer that has gone untreated, please call us immediately.  The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances are for recovery.

And please, PLEASE follow your doctor’s directions for your diabetes care. Take your meds, change your diet and do everything in your power to prevent this disease from progressing. You don’t want to go there.

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