Diabetes, when present in the body over many years, can give rise to all sorts of complications. These include heart disease, kidney disease, Loss of vision,
If left untreated, some of these complications can become extremely damaging to the body.
Diabetes is a leading cause of amputation
The NHS reports that people who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than other people without the condition are.
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of amputation of the lower limbs throughout the world.
Every year, surgeons perform a lower-limb amputation due to diabetes on about 73,000 patients. Most of these amputations are performed for the treatment of non-healing diabetic foot ulcers that resulted from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Many hospital visits due to diabetes-related foot problems are preventable through simple foot care routines.
All people who have diabetes should have foot check-ups as a part of their regular care routine.
What factors lead to amputation?
Several key factors usually predispose ulceration and ultimately amputation. These include:
- Neuropathy (loss of vision)
- Circulation problems
- Foot ulcers
- Charcot foot (weak foot joint)
- Other damage to the foot
How are these factors assessed?
Diabetic foot complications are more common amongst the elderly, and amputation rates do increase with age. For people over 75 years old, the risk does increase considerably.
All people who have diabetes should have a basic education in foot care, and beyond this, they should have regular foot examinations.
The risk for the development of ulceration can be assessed by basic clinical examination of the foot.
Leg or foot amputation due to diabetes can have significant physical and emotional consequences, not only for the person with the amputation, but to his or her loved ones as well. The most unfortunate part of this is, with proper medical care early on, some of these amputations could be avoided.
What are major and minor amputations?
Amputation is the surgical removal of a part of a limb. The types of lower-limb amputations that are commonly performed due to diabetes include:
Amputations in general, not just diabetes-related amputations are classed as major and minor.
- Minor amputation regards removal of toes or feet.
Partial foot amputation – Involves removal of a toe or more. Even removal of a toe will likely alter walking and balance
- Major amputation refers to the above or below the knee amputation..
Below the knee amputation – Involves removing the lower leg, with or without removing the knee joint. The remaining part of the leg may still be able to bear weight and can move well with the use of a properly fitted prosthesis, or a device designed to function as the part of the leg that was removed.
Above the knee amputation – Involves removal of the leg above the knee joint where part of the femur, the bone in the thigh, is removed.
Role of Diabetes in Amputation
About 10% of people living with diabetes may have a foot ulcer. While many diabetic foot ulcers will heal with proper treatment, about 10-15% will not, Almost a quarter of those whose ulcers do not heal will ultimately require amputation. Amputation can often be avoided by seeking care as soon as possible after noticing a developing ulcer. A team that’s specialized in treating diabetic foot ulcers should conduct treatment.
The NACU Herbal tea combined with healthy lifestyle changes helps to reverse diabetes which ultimately reduces the risk of foot amputation due to diabetes.
If you don’t have diabetes or you are pre-diabetic Healthy eating can also help reduce the chances of degenerating into full blown diabetes. Get this diabetes meal plan and eat healthy all year long.
Follow us on Instagram for daily health tips