It’s an all-too-real concern for diabetics—amputations. Unfortunately, some diabetics’ feet get so damaged over the course of the disease that they must be amputated to preserve the health of the rest of their body. This is life changing and heartbreaking.
What if there was one thing you could watch out for that would lower your risk for needing such a life-changing surgery? There is.
How to Minimize Your Risk of Amputation
You deal with symptoms of diabetes in your feet every day, including decreased circulation, numbness, and tingling sensations. Out of all of the symptoms you experience, foot ulcers are the most dangerous.
Diabetics get foot ulcers for a number of reasons, including abrasions from poorly-fitted shoes and cuts that are not properly cared for. For people without diabetes, these types of abrasions might not be a big concern. For diabetics, they can be life altering.
Here’s why. Foot ulcers open your foot to risk of infection. With a compromised immune system, abrasions and infections heal much slower.
Watching out for foot ulcers is essential to minimizing your risk for amputation. As soon as you see one appear, you must begin treatment right away to help your foot heal quickly. Here’s how:
- Carefully monitor your wounds. Check for signs of infection, such as swelling and redness. You will also want to be conscious of how sore the ulcer becomes over time.
- Take all antibiotics prescribed by your podiatrist. The blood circulation in your feet might be compromised already. Missing a dose of antibiotics can delay the healing of your ulcers.
- Eliminate pressure points while you heal. Foot ulcers might also signal a deeper-rooted issue, such as peripheral vascular disease. This can make it difficult for blood to reach the foot ulcer and help it heal. If this is the case you should avoid putting pressure on the infected area by using crutches or a wheelchair until it has healed.
Your podiatrist might recommend other treatment options, depending on the severity of your ulcers. For example, debridement is sometimes used to remove the dead tissues and improve the condition of your foot.
Amputations are an unfortunate reality for many diabetics. By becoming more vigilant about inspecting your feet for ulcers every day you can do your part to minimize the risk of having your foot or feet amputated.
Do you know someone with diabetes worried about amputations? We encourage you to share this article with him or her.