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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Diabetic. Noticed lower leg getting dark and hard. Should I consult a doctor?

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Dr. Madhuri Patil

Diabetologist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 362 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Diabetes
Question: My mother has been a diabetic for some time and tonight I noticed her lower leg is getting dark and appeared to be hard, espcially compared to the other leg. Don't remember if it was cool but think I would have remembered if it was hot to the touch. What do you think maybe causing this and how quickly should i contact her doctor?
would like to send a photo as well.
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Answered by Dr. Madhuri Patil 1 hour later
Hi XXXXXXX,

Thank you for the query here.

The picture shows dark discolouration of the foot due to compromised blood supple to your mother's foot. The temperature, if is cold, then it's a big compromise in blood supply. And if it's hot then it's active with infection also.
Right now it is hard and, if you did not notice any increase in the temperature, then it seems to be foot going for dry gangrene. This is something you must take seriously because-
1. to save the foot/ rest of the leg
2. to check with other foot also and to check the blood supply of heart also which generally gets compromised along with the compromised blood supply of the lower limbs.
Hence, do take it seriously to contact a foot surgeon or a vascular surgeon.
I hope this helps you. Please get back for any further query.
Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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