|Print This Page Email to a Friend|
With increasing numbers of Americans being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, more patients are also experiencing one of the disease’s most common complications: lower limb loss.
More than 65,700 people lose a toe, foot or leg each year due to diabetes – the most frequent cause of lower limb amputations not involving trauma, according to the American Diabetes Association.
But how does diabetes lead to amputation? Diabetes can cause several changes in the skin, nerves and blood vessels that create a “perfect storm” of problems leading to limb loss. These include:
Despite these factors, people with diabetes can take many steps to avoid lower limb amputation. In fact, 85 percent of these amputations among people with diabetes can be avoided, according to the International Diabetes Foundation.
The first – and perhaps most important – step is performing daily foot checks to look for any signs of damage to the feet, including cuts, sores, blisters or ulcers. Even a small injury should be treated quickly and aggressively. If a sore doesn’t show signs of healing over several days, visit your healthcare provider.
Other self-care measures include: