Diabetes affects many areas of the body. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you need to be aware of your feet and watch out for diabetic foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers are sores that develop on your feet, and they can develop even from seemingly trivial injuries to the feet. Diabetic foot ulcers are a common cause of amputation due to diabetes.
Here are some discouraging and scary numbers, but the purpose of this blog has always been to use FEAR as trigger for positive change:
- A foot ulcer is the initial event in more than 85% of major amputations that are performed on people with diabetes.
- Throughout the world, it’s estimated that every 30 seconds one leg is amputated due to diabetes.
- 10% of people with diabetes have a foot ulcer.
- Every year, about 1-4% of people with diabetes develop a new foot ulcer.
- Between 10-15% of diabetic foot ulcers do not heal.
- Of diabetic foot ulcers that do not heal, 25% will require amputation
Reduced blood circulation and nerve damage, both caused by diabetes (by sustained high blood sugar levels), are dangerous for your feet. You may not notice the small blisters, bug bites or chafing right away if you’ve lost sensation in your feet and hence you may not take care of these problems quickly. Poor blood flow reduces healing time, setting the stage for tough-to-treat infections that can require amputation. It’s a worst-case scenario that may happen more often than you think.
Here’s what you should do
Early intervention can help you treat your foot ulcers in time and save you from dire and debilitating consequences such as amputation. Do not delay, do not ignore, do not self-medicate. Contact your doctor immediately.