Patients with Diabetes Must Take Precautions To Reduce Risk of Amputation
Diabetes is a systemic illness with complications that can negatively affect foot health. In people with the disease, the pancreas does not produce sufficient insulin to regulate levels of blood glucose. Symptoms of the onset of diabetes include:
unexplained weight gain or weight loss
sudden decrease in appetite
itchy, dry skin
bruises or cuts that are unusually slow to heal
irritated gums or dry mouth
If you notice any of these symptoms, see your physician for diabetes testing without delay. The sooner you are accurately diagnosed, the better. The good news is that modern medication and other treatments make managing your diabetes easier than ever before.
Diabetes complications can include nerve damage and poor blood circulation. These problems make the feet vulnerable to ulcers – sores and wounds that won’t heal. Ulcers are dangerous. They can lead to infection, hospitalization, amputation, and even death. While rates of lower limb amputations have dropped dramatically in the past twenty years, it remains a risk and it is critical that individuals with diabetes take care to stay safe. Here are some tips from Eric Kosofsky, DPM and Robert Rutstein, DPM:
Eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity exacerbates diabetic symptoms.
Take all medicine as prescribed.
Quit smoking. Tobacco use impairs circulation and diabetes just makes the problem worse.
Keep feet warm. Wear socks and shoes, even inside.
Inspect your feet daily. If limited flexibility makes this a challenge, enlist a loved one to help or place a small mirror on the floor and use it to see your feet from all angles.
Of course, the best thing that anyone – diabetic or not – can do to ensure foot health is to visit their foot doctor regularly. With years of training and experience, a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. Eric Kosofsky and Dr. Robert Rutstein is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat all illnesses and injuries of the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Schedule a convenient appointment in our Hartford and Rocky Hill offices today. Call the friendly Hartford Podiatry Group staff at 860-523-8026 or click here to get started.