Why do diabetics lose limbs? Also known as amputation, losing limbs is one of the major complications of diabetes mellitus. If you have been recently diagnosed with diabetes, your healthcare professional will advise you to keep your feet clean and healthy. But if you do not know why this is essential, this article will help you realize how checking on your feet daily can prevent amputation.
Why sometimes amputation becomes necessary?
Without proper treatment and correct disease management, diabetes can narrow the blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the legs and feet. This medical condition is known as peripheral artery disease (PAD). It also leads to peripheral neuropathy, which is identified as nerve damage. Such an occurrence prevents you from feeling any pain in your legs or feet.
Losing a sensation on your feet makes you susceptible to undetermined wounds or foot ulcers. Sometimes, most diabetes patients walk around barefoot and don’t realize that they have stepped on sharp things that cause their skin to break.
When an opening on the skin occurs, bacteria or viruses are free to sneak in. This is how certain infections develop, specifically diabetic ulcers. Since you do not realize this because of the lack of sensation, you continue to put pressure on the infected area and cause the ulcer to grow and spread.
Furthermore, reducing blood flow to the feet slows down the healing process. PAD makes it less effective for the body to fight infections, which makes healing an elusive aspect. The condition can go beyond the skin, particularly the tissues and bones.
If this condition is not treated or if the damage is beyond repair, amputation becomes necessary.
How can you prevent amputation if you have diabetes?
Managing and controlling your blood glucose levels is the best approach to preventing diabetes complications like amputation. Here are a variety of ways to execute this:
- Have a healthy meal plan (containing fruits, vegetables, and lean meats)
- Avoid soda and other sweetened beverages
- Lessen stress and get enough sleep
- Have daily exercise for 30 minutes to 1 hour
- Maintain normal blood pressure
- Check your blood sugar regularly
- Do not forget to take your diabetes medicines
Since amputation is one of the major diabetes complications, here are ways you can keep your feet healthy and clean:
- Wash your feet every day.
- If warts develop on your feet, seek medical assistance.
- Avoid cutting your nails too short when trimming them.
- Avoid going out barefoot.
- Always wear slippers, even indoors.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Practice wearing clean socks regularly.
- Avoid soaking your feet for too long.
- Keep your feet dry, especially the skin between your toes.
Proper diabetes management is key to preventing amputation and other diabetes-related complications. Do not miss out on your treatment and follow a healthy diet. Finally, always check your blood sugar levels. If you notice something unusual in your condition, consult with your healthcare professional immediately.