Diabetes can sometimes lead to blood circulation issues and nerve damage in the foot. Patients can unknowingly develop wounds on their feet due to lack of sensation or feeling due to the nerve damage inflicted by the diabetes.
Again, diabetes can cause issues with blood circulation as well. The lack of circulation can result in the wounds or ulcers not healing, and thus results in a high risk for amputation. The good news is that proper foot care and diabetes management can lead to fewer cases of this happening. In fact in the last 20 years, better diabetes care has led to a 50 percent drop in amputations in the lower limbs!
A 2012 study found that foot ulcers occur in 4-10 percent of people with diabetes. Most of those cases have good outcomes:
In order to prevent amputations, proper foot care is needed, especially in diabetic patients. Here are a few tips to help take good care of your feet:
- Examine feet regularly for cuts, bruises, blisters, and scrapes
- Wash feet daily
- Wear clean, dry socks
- Wiggle toes frequently to stimulate blood flow
- Trim toenails carefully.
- Buy shoes that fit properly.
- Schedule regular foot examinations
- Don’t walk barefoot
If you are concerned of any open wounds or sores on your feet, scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider or podiatrist is recommended.