Diabetes can cause complications of neuropathy, which finally leads to amputation. Due to diabetes, amputation may be done for the lower limbs. Most diabetic patients have to be hospitalized due to foot problems. The patients can prevent hospital visits if they follow some foot care routines. The patients should get the foot checked up regularly.
According to the doctors, the cause of most amputations is neuropathy and problems of circulation, which can be prevented. To prevent amputation due to diabetes, you must know about the factors that cause the condition and foot care steps.
Factors That Cause Amputations
Some factors are responsible for causing ulcers and amputation due to diabetes. One of the main causes of amputation is peripheral neuropathy, which is the non-functioning of the peripheral nerves. In peripheral neuropathy, the nerves in the body are damaged. Another factor that causes amputation is vascular disease, which affects the blood vessels.
Infection and non-healing wounds can also cause amputations. When there is an improper blood flow in the feet, the wounds heal slowly and the patient can get infection. When the infection is not treated in proper time, it leads to gangrene formation and the foot amputation. This condition can be prevented if the patient monitors the feet and takes timely treatment for any problem. Deformity or trauma in the foot can also cause amputation.
Assessment of Risk Factors
To prevent amputation due to diabetes, diabetic patients should be given basic knowledge of foot care. They should examine the feet regularly. The risk of ulcer formation in the feet is assessed through a clinical examination.
Diabetic patients should get the feet checked annually. You can have foot problems like blisters and burns. You can also have cuts in the feet. There is no pain if there is nerve damage. It is also important to check blood circulation as it helps in keeping the feet healthy. Get your feet examined by a GP, a diabetic expert, or a nurse.
You will be asked some questions on how you control diabetes, foot problems and other related conditions. For the foot examination, you have to remove shoes and socks. The examiner will perform some foot tests. For detecting feeling in the nerves, the examiner touches the foot and can use plastic instrument for this.
Test is done to check if you can feel cold as well as hot sensations. The examiner performs a test to find the pulse in the feet. Blood pressure of the legs is also checked. The examiner checks if you have corns, calluses and nail disease. If any problem is detected, you will be given advice on how to treat them. You might have to consult a podiatrist for the treatment of foot problems.
Foot Care to Prevent Amputation
To prevent amputation due to diabetes and for the treatment of foot ulcers, you must eliminate factors that put pressure on foot on its sensitive areas. You should avoid footwear that puts pressure on foot. Diabetic patients should control diabetes by dietary and lifestyle changes. You must exercise as it helps in preventing foot problems.
There are many products designed for diabetic foot. If you have calluses, it must be removed by a foot specialist like a podiatrist. Cleaning of the wound is done, after which dressing is done and a bandage is wrapped. If the condition is severe, you have to use an orthowedge, which is a special shoe that alleviates pressure on foot front. Pressure on the foot can also be reduced by wearing a contact cast.