Having leg sores due to diabetes can be excruciating, especially when those sores are opened. While most opened sores bleed, diabetic leg sores can sometimes leak fluid that looks like water instead. If you're having this problem, it may mean that you're having a secondary problem called edema. Read on to learn more about this condition and what it means for you and your leg sores.
What is Edema
Edema is the name of a condition in which the body retains too much water. It generally causes swelling in the extremities, particularly in the legs.
Edema is different from simple bloating. While bloating can occur due to dehydration or even something as simple as eating too much salt, edema is a serious medical condition. Edema only occurs if your body isn't doing a good job of circulating blood through the body. Generally speaking, having edema typically means that there's a heart problem.
How Leg Sores Tie In To Edema
For diabetics, leg sores leaking fluid in addition to or instead of blood is often one of the first warning signs of edema. In healthy people, edema is typically noticeable early on because it causes discomfort in the legs. It's possible to not notice that one's legs are swelling because diabetes often causes peripheral neuropathy, which can make it harder to feel what's going on in your extremities.
When leg sores split open and leak fluid, that's actually the retained water in one's legs that's coming out. However, this shouldn't be viewed as a good way of draining the excess fluid. If you're having this problem, you need to visit a doctor.
Consult With a Doctor
Doctors should be consulted if your leg sores are splitting open at all, but especially if they're leaking fluid. Edema can make it harder for diabetic leg sores to heal, since it stretches the skin as the legs fill with water. In addition, split-open leg sores can easily become infected, putting your health at risk.
However, the more important problem here is the potential for a heart problem. If your circulatory system isn't operating properly, a doctor must be visited in order to examine your heart to find out what's wrong. Failing to do so could ultimately result in heart failure.
Leg sores require constant care from doctors and you. If you notice any abnormalities occurring with your leg sores, including them leaking fluid, you should seek medical help immediately. For more information, talk with a provider like those at Collier Podiatry PA.