Protecting Yourself from Amputation with Diabetes

Kozzi-hands_and_feet-416x312One of the many concerns for those that are diabetic is the possibility of amputation of a lower limb. In looking at lower limb amputations that are non-traumatic, over 60% of them are caused from diabetes. When looking at the partial foot amputations which are performed due to diabetes at least 75% of them are successful however, the remaining 25% end up resulting in an amputation requiring the leg to be removed just below the knee. Understanding the causes and how to prevent conditions of the legs and feet is vital in being able to prevent this from happening. Knowledge is power that can help you fight the disease and lower your risk.

Diabetic patients know that their body is not producing enough insulin, if any, or perhaps the body is not using it in the correct way. If a patient’s glucose levels become too high it is possible that there can be damage to the nerves in the feet and legs which means that you will not only have a hard time fighting off any infection, in addition you may not be able to feel if you are in any pain. This is known as peripheral neuropathy and can result in amputation of a toe, the foot or possibly a leg from the knee down. Knowing what to look for can help you reduce your risks and stay healthy.

There are signs and symptoms that you can watch out for in order to ensure early detection of nerve damage. These include diarrhea or constipation, indigestion, nausea or vomiting or weakness, numbness in any of your limbs. In men it can cause erectile dysfunction and in women it can cause vaginal dryness. You should also keep an eye out for depression which can lead to a severe loss in weight as well. Keeping your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible, eating a healthy diet and getting the right amount of exercise are great ways to prevent nerve damage and limb amputation. It is also important to watch your body closely for any cuts that may lead to possible infection. Diabetics heal slower which raises the risk of infection and amputation.

Taking special care of your feet is also very important. Each time that you get out of the shower you should be sure to dry them carefully. Examine them to make sure that there are no cuts, calluses, cracks or dry skin that could break open and get infected. You should also keep your nails trimmed in a straight fashion and make sure that there are no sharp corners. It is also important to wear the correct shoes so that your feet are protected and you are comfortable when walking. Other risk factors that you need to keep in mind are age (the older the more risk), deformity of the feet, the amount of insulin you take and taking it correctly, infections, vascular disease, being male and even being single. Taking care of yourself is the best preventative medicine you can perform.

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