According to an article published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinological Metabolism in September and October 2016, the following issues raise the risk of a severe form of infection called necrotizing fasciitis…
- poorly controlled blood sugar levels,
- an infection with more than one species of bacteria,
- amputation, or
- a delay in getting help
Necrotizing refers to dying. Fasciitis is the inflammation of fascia, a covering under the skin. The problem can occur in many parts of the body, but the study was limited to hand infections. Scientists working at Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu, India, compared twenty-three cases of necrotizing infections of the hands with sixteen participants with other types of infection…
- 13 or 52 percent of the participants with necrotizing fasciitis, were infected with more than one kind of bacteria, and
- 9 of the participants had only one type of bacteria, and
- 3 did not show bacterial infection.
The participants diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis had HbA1c levels averaging 10.83 percent, while those without the disease averaged 8.64 percent. The participants detected as having necrotizing fasciitis had longer hospital stays than those with milder infections. It was found of the seven participants who required an amputation of their finger or fingers; six had necrotizing fasciitis.
Necrotizing fasciitis often starts shortly after an injury. When a wound occurs, it is important to wash it thoroughly and apply a bandage, although closed injuries can be just as problematic. The area often seems painful out of proportion to the injury. Warm red or purple areas which may include blisters, ulcers, or black spots may swell across the skin, and appears to spread fast. Fever, chills, tiredness, nausea or vomiting may also be present.
When necrotizing fasciitis has ben diagnosed, it is treated with intravenous antibiotics. Because the antibiotic may not be delivered through all the dying tissue, surgery can be necessary.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one thousand cases of necrotizing fasciitis appears each year in the United States. They are frequently caused by a strain of streptococcus bacteria known as group A strep.
Type 2 diabetics tend to have weak immune systems, so keeping the condition under control is essential for preventing infections. High blood sugar levels provide nutrients for bacteria and fungus to grow and prevent white blood cells from doing a good job of fighting disease. The nervous system in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes often does not allow the injured person know when they have an injury. If the arms, hands, legs, and feet do not get sufficient blood flow, which is frequently the case, healing is difficult.