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Diabetes and Amputation: How to Protect your Feet
Why does diabetes commonly lead to foot amputation?
It is because diabetes can lead to peripheral artery disease, which causes your blood vessels to narrow and reduces blood flow to your legs and feet. Reduced blood flow can slow wound healing. It can also make your body less effective at fighting infection. As a result, your wound may not heal.
It may also cause nerve damage, known as peripheral neuropathy. This could prevent you from feeling pain. Normally a person with an injury on the bottom of their foot, such as a blister, will change the way they walk, because you are going to protect that blistered spot until it heals up. People with a loss of sensation dont do that. They will just walk right on top of that blister as though it wasnt there. It can burst, become infected, and turn into a foot ulcer. That ulceration can go right down to the bone and become an avenue for infection into the whole foot. Thats what leads to amputations. The most common amputations in people with diabetes are the toes, feet, and lower legs.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take, heres what you need to know to keep your feet healthy:
The single most important thing that a person with diabetes can do to prevent a problem is to look at their feet every day, just as they comb their hair or brush their teeth. You can use a mirror to examine your feet or have a family member check your feet for you. If youre not regularly checking your feet, start now. It only takes a few minutes each day. Make it a part of your morning or evening rou Continue reading