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Diabetic. Having swollen feet. How do I prevent?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14968 Questions
I have type 2 diabetes. Last week my ankles were swollen which has never happened before. I soaked them in Epsom salts, getting a little relief, but not lasting very long. It now appears to be getting worse in terms of discomfort. I have heard diabetics can lose their feet from this condition. What can I do to prevent this? XXXXXX email: YYYY@YYYY
Posted Wed, 4 Dec 2013 in Diabetes
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 37 minutes later
Brief Answer: there are different causes Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic Diabetics do have an increased risk of amputation. This occurs as a result of infection which does not resolve with treatment and is at risk of spreading. The infection may start in different ways.The most common is as a result of a cut or puncture wound that then becomes infected. This is the reason that diabetics are advised to check their feet daily for any cuts or bruises so that early treatment can be started. In most persons the infection does not involve both feet unless both feet receive a cut, puncture or bruise. Infection usually causes swelling of one limb, it is rare to have infection involving both limbs at the same time.This makes infection less likely which reduces the chance of an amputation. There are other signs or symptoms that may indicate an infection may be present such as fever, increased warmth of the leg, tenderness, redness of the limb, possible presence of a discharge. If any signs or symptoms of infection are present you have to be seen by your doctor immediately. This is the only way to prevent amputation. Antibiotics have to started immediately and any infected tissue must be removed. This is the only effective way to treat any infected diabetic foot. There are some causes of swelling that can involve both legs: (1) venous disease of the legs- as persons age the veins do not work as they should so blood builds up in the limbs instead of going back to the heart. This swelling is usually not there on mornings after waking because the feet were up during the night. It starts as the day progresses , veins may also be visible in the legs. (2)heart disease (3)kidney disease (4)side effect of medication, there are some medications such as the anti hypertensive drug amlodipine that causes swelling of the limbs (5)liver disease Since the swelling involves both legs, you may want to determine if any of the above may be a possible cause. This would involve examination of the limbs, blood tests checking the kidneys and liver and possible heart tests. If it is related to the veins then elevation of the limbs during the course of the day and the use of special stockings is recommended. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions
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