How to Prevent Diabetic Amputation
Diabetic amputation is a preventable complication. But it’s also a common one, since this disease can affect blood flow to your feet when left untreated. (See the illustration below.) Fortunately, with regular care, we can preserve circulation and prevent infections, reducing your risk for limb loss. But when people forego those quarterly diabetic visits, bad things happen. Just check out the story of one young man, below.
Diabetic Amputation: Unchecked Disease’s Complication
Greg Williams was shocked to discover he had Type 2 diabetes. After all, he was a fitness enthusiast. As such, he tried to ignore his condition. But that just allowed his symptoms to get worse. Soon, Williams suffered horrible pain and decreased mental capacity. Yet, even after undergoing double cataract surgery, he still made no changes to his eating habits.
Shortly thereafter, Williams developed a large ulcer on his foot that required amputation. The other foot followed. Since his double amputation Williams’ health has improved, fortunately. Still, in Williams’ native state, Michigan, diabetes is the sixth-highest cause of death.
The feet are one of the parts of the body most often affected by diabetes. If as a diabetic you experience any sores or pains have your feet examined yearly by a podiatrist like Dr. Brad Bachmann of Louetta Foot and Ankle Specialists, P.A. Attention from a board-certified doctor is highly recommended for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic Foot Care: Key to Preventing Amputation
Diabetes affects millions of people every year. Diabetes damages blood vessels in many parts of the body, including the feet. When damage occurs to nerves in the feet, they may be unable to send proper signaling to the peripheral nervous system, resulting in a condition known as neuropathy. Once a diabetic patient develops neuropathy, it is mandatory that the feet are well taken care of to avoid amputation.
The Importance of Caring for Your Feet
– Routinely inspect your feet for bruises or sores.
– Wear socks that fit your feet comfortably.
– Wear comfortable shoes that provide adequate support. You should also look for shoes with thick, supportive soles. They need wide, high toe boxes so your feet won’t feel crowded or start rubbing. Also, look for shoes with enough depth to hold your custom orthotics. In some cases, you may need to wear prescription diabetic shoes.
Disease Marker Monitoring
Patients with diabetes should have their doctor monitor their Hemoglobin A1C levels. This test allows the physician to know how well the blood sugar levels are being controlled during the past 3 months. It is important to keep your blood sugar levels in a normal range (70-110mg/dl). We highly recommend visiting our team of podiatrists regularly. And you must schedule an immediate appointment if you’re experiencing any conditions involving your feet.
It is always best to inform your healthcare professional of any concerns you may have regarding your feet. For diabetic patients, the risk of amputation and sepsis heightens if you do not seek medical treatment right away, especially involving the feet. Early treatment and routine foot inspection are keys to maintaining health.
Read more on Diabetic Foot care.