Amputation of a limb is a severe risk to people living with diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 73,000 diabetics lose a limb for reasons other than sudden accident or injury each year. This represents 60% of all annual non-traumatic amputations and is a life-threatening crisis. Research shows that up to 50% of people with diabetes will die in the two years following the loss of a limb. What can you do to limit your risk? Here are four simple ways.
Say Goodbye to Limb Loss
- The most essential thing you can do to protect your feet, ankles, and lower legs is to manage your diabetes effectively. Eat properly and exercise regularly. Be sure to take all medications prescribed by your doctor. It will help keep your blood glucose levels stable and lower the risk of further complications caused by your illness.
- Check your feet regularly. Diabetes can impact sensation and lead to a condition known as neuropathy. Be alert to numbness or tingling and report these symptoms to your podiatrist without delay, as neuropathy can make perceiving the discomfort usually associated with minor injuries challenging. For people with diabetes, these small nicks and cuts can quickly turn into deep, painful wounds called diabetic ulcers.
- Diabetes can lead to peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a loss of blood flow to the limbs. PAD signs include loss of body hair, shiny or smooth skin, muscle weakness, or feelings of constant cold. Talk to your doctor about PAD treatment, which can help heal ulcers and reduce the risk of amputation.
- Early intervention is crucial in preventing limb loss. See a podiatrist annually. Schedule an additional visit if you’re experiencing foot pain or any time you notice a change in the appearance or shape of your feet.
Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Donal M. Erickson, Dr. Keith Sherman, Dr. Anne-Louise Smith, Dr. Justin Muser, and the rest of the staff at Syracuse Podiatry in East Syracuse, New York, can help treat and care for your feet. Call us at 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online to get help today.