Diabetics 15 Times Likelier to Suffer Foot Amputations Due to Gangrene

Posted on Dec 22, 2012

An endocrinologist in the Persian Gulf is raising diabetes awareness in his patients to avoid dangerous and fatal outcomes, including diabetic foot amputations.

Endocrinologist Dr. Alida Taniwallova of Ras Al Khaimah Hospital warns the public to take special notice of their feet after a diabetes diagnosis, since many complications are first detected there—and the beginning of a problem may be too easily overlooked. 

“If you have diabetes, you’re 15 times more likely to have a limb amputated due to gangrene,” Dr. Alida said. “Diabetes can limit the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling. This can mean foot injuries do not heal well, and the lack of feeling means you may not notice if your foot is sore or injured.” 

The loss of feeling also means that you would not notice if your foot had become infected, letting severe infections go untreated until there is no other option but to amputate the foot. 

Diabetics can prevent an emergency amputation in many ways, including:

  • Seeing a podiatrist on a regular basis
  • Keeping your feet clean and inspecting them daily for injuries
  • Wearing shoes that fit properly, with ample room for your toes 
  • Never walking barefoot 
  • Cutting toenails straight across
  • Getting your corns or calluses treated by your podiatrist
  • Seeking urgent care if your foot ulcers do not heal quickly
  • Seeing a doctor immediately if you see signs of an infection, such as redness or swelling

Dr. Alida added that diabetics can also make healthy choices that reduce their risk of gangrene. 

“Ensure that your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also monitored and controlled with medication if needed. Smoking is also not a good idea as it has a harmful effect on the blood supply to your feet.” 

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