Diabetes & Your Feet: 5 Things You Need to Do Right Now to Prevent Ulcers, Infection, Amputation
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your doctor has undoubtedly told you to pay special attention to your feet, since they are prone to infections, ulcers and worse. While it probably seems like enough work to track your blood sugar levels, keeping your feet healthy is crucial, too.
If you're not convinced, consider these scary statistics:
• Foot ulcers, common in those with diabetes, may heal but are very likely to reoccur.
• The risk of an uninfected diabetic foot ulcer becoming infected is about 40%.
• The Charcot foot, a condition of severe deformity linked with diabetes, can lead to amputation—and three months or more of difficult movement. Other diabetes-related foot problems can also lead to amputation.1
• Every 30 seconds, a lower limb is lost as a consequence of diabetes. 1,2
As somber as those facts are, patients can be proactive about foot health with a number of simple steps, according to podiatric specialists talking at a seminar on the Diabetic Foot at the American Diabetes Association 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego. Here are five suggestions.
#1. Understand Neuropathy
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is, unfortunately, common in those with diabetes. It's defined as damage to nerves in your feet, lower legs, hands and elsewhere.
However, patients often don't truly understand what neuropathy is, says Andrew J.M. Boulton, FRCP, professor of medicine at the University of Manchester. "They have a strong vascular connotation, so they think it must have to do with circulation," Dr. Boulton tells Endocrine Web. They think, ''My foot is warm, it does Continue reading