Amputation is a major issue of diabetes. If you have diabetes, your doctor has likely recommended that you check your feet every day, but you might not have understood why. Continue reading to find out how diabetes can cause amputation and how to help prevent it.
Why would amputation be essential?
Sometimes, diabetes can result in peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD causes your blood vessels to narrow and reduces blood circulation to your legs and feet. It might also cause nerve damage, referred to as peripheral neuropathy. This might prevent you from feeling pain.
If you can’t feel pain, you may not recognize you have an injury or ulcer on your feet. You may continue putting pressure on the afflicted area, which can cause it to grow and end up being infected.
Minimized blood circulation can slow injury recovery. It can also make your body less reliable at battling infection. As an outcome, your wound might not recover. Tissue damage or death (gangrene) may take place, and any existing infection might infect your bone.
If the infection can not be stopped or the damage is irreparable, amputation might be essential. The most typical amputations in individuals with diabetes are the toes, feet, and lower legs.
Also read: Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Does everyone with diabetes deal with amputation?
In 2010, 73,000 American adults who have diabetes and are over age 20 had amputations. That might seem like a lot, however amputations account for just a small percentage of the over 29 million people in the United States with diabetes. Better diabetes management and foot care has actually triggered lower limb amputations to be reduced by half over the last 20 years.
With ongoing diabetes management, foot care, and wound care, many individuals with diabetes can limit their risk of amputation or avoid it entirely.
Ways to avoid amputation if you have diabetes
The best method to prevent amputation and other severe diabetes complications is to handle your blood sugar. There are several methods you can do this, including:
- eating a healthy diet of lean meats, vegetables and fruits, fiber, and entire grains
- preventing sugar-sweetened juice and soda
- reducing stress
- exercising for at least 30 minutes daily
- keeping a healthy weight and high blood pressure
- examining your blood glucose levels frequently
- taking your insulin and other diabetes medications as directed by your doctor
If you smoke, you need to give up. Smoking cigarettes can make it hard to manage your blood sugar level. It likewise slows blood circulation and injury recovery, which can cause peripheral artery disease. It may be hard to stop cigarette smoking on your own. Speak with your doctor about cigarette smoking cessation choices.
Good foot care may help you prevent injuries or ulcers from ending up being problematic. Some foot care suggestions are:
- Do an everyday foot check of your whole foot. Look for redness, injuries, bruising, blisters, and staining.
- Use a magnifying mirror to help you get a better look at your feet.
- If you are unable to check your feet, have someone else examine them for you.
- Frequently check your feet for sensation using a plume or other light things.
- Routinely check to see if your feet can feel warm and cold temperatures.
- Wear thin, clean, dry socks that do not have elastic bands.
- Wiggle your toes throughout the day and move your ankles often to keep the blood flowing in your feet.
Report any foot problems and neuropathy symptoms such as numbness, burning, and tingling to your doctor right now.
Other foot issues to be familiar with
Common foot issues that are annoyances to most people might become significant issues if you have diabetes. If you don’t know they’re there, basic injuries may rapidly end up being infected or cause ulcers.
If you experience any of these foot conditions, call your doctor for an evaluation:
- fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot
- ingrown toe nails
- plantar warts
- dry skin
- heel pain or heel spurs
What you can do now
Diabetes is a tricky disease. Oftentimes, it does not cause unusual symptoms. If you do not have symptoms, you may think the disease is under control and not take it seriously. If you have diabetes and your blood sugar level isn’t really well-managed, take steps immediately to get it under control, even if you do not have symptoms. Take your diabetes medications and speak to your doctor about the best diet and workout prepare for your circumstance.
If you’re sporadically examining your feet, begin now. It only takes a couple of minutes every day. Make checking your feet part of your morning or night routine.
To keep your feet as healthy as possible:
- Wash them every day and dry them completely. Apply a light coating of petroleum jelly to help prevent skin cracking.
- Don’t eliminate callouses, bunions, corns, or warts on your own. Get support from a podiatrist or your doctor.
- Cut your toenails straight throughout, and attempt not to cut them too short.
- Don’t go barefoot inside or outdoors.
- If you have problem discovering comfy shoes that fit effectively, speak with your doctor about prescription diabetic shoes.
- Use closed-toe shoes.
- Prevent shoes with pointy toes.
- Don’t soak your feet.
- Wetness between the toes might lead to infection, so attempt using cornstarch between your toes to keep the skin dry.
Amputation doesn’t need to be part of your diabetes journey. If you do all you can to manage your blood sugar level and look after your feet, you’ll lower your risk of major complications.