Having diabetes puts you at higher risk of foot complications, including the possibility of amputation in severe cases. People with diabetes have poor circulation, a loss of feeling in the feet, and a lower ability to fight infection that all contribute to this increased risk.
Some of the Risk Factors for Amputation:
Numbness—Damage to the nerves from peripheral artery disease and other causes can make it difficult for a diabetic to sense that an irritation or injury has occurred. Even small cuts or scrapes can quickly become infected, leading to a much larger problem requiring amputation to control the spread.
Improper Blood Circulation—Deterioration of blood vessels causes a decrease of blood flow to the feet. This weakens the bones and joints, increasing the risk of fractures and other damage, which may require amputation.
Foot deformities—Conditions such as Charcot foot can develop due to motor neuron damage. This can cause the foot to deform from its natural shape, leading to infection and severe disability, and the possibility of amputation.
Protect your feet—Injuries and infections need to be prevented. Use properly fitted footwear that is comfortable and protective. Don’t walk barefoot. Be sure to completely clean and dry your feet every day to remove bacteria that can cause infection.
Health management—Poor blood circulation can be improved through healthy lifestyle choices. Quitting smoking is number one on the list. Eating right and getting regular exercise are key factors. Having your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels monitored and controlled are also essential.
Good foot care habits—Check your feet daily for any cuts, scrapes, blisters, and early signs of corns and calluses. Use a hand mirror to inspect the bottom of your feet. Be sure to check in with your podiatrist regularly to monitor any existing problems or deformities and for instructions on how to safely groom your feet at home.
The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating diabetic patients, and in all aspects of foot and ankle care. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631-549-8637) and Briarwood, NY (929-336-4523).