Diabetic foot disease

As I continue to fight the good fight against my first respiratory infection of the season, I will serve you a few portions of learnin’ from the old blog. –PalMD

We’ve spoken a bit lately of the micro- and macrovascular complications of diabetes. Let’s see what that means in real life. One of the most devastating complications of diabetes is amputation, which is often due to the microvascular complication of peripheral neuropathy. This can begin as a tingling, burning pain in the feet, but can lead to loss of sensation. Small injuries can rapidly become limb-threatening…(Warning: Yucky picture under the fold)

In 2002, over 80,000 amputations were done on diabetics. Prevention of diabetic foot disease and amputation is relatively simple and effective, with the ability to prevent one-half to two-thirds of amputations. Prevention includes yearly foot exams by a medical professional. This includes simple tests of sensation and blood flow, which requires no specialized equipment. If an abnormality is found, prompt referral to podiatrists for specialized foot care and footwear, and cessation of all smoking can help prevent amputation.

I recommend that all my diabetics check their feet daily, with a mirror if necessary, and call me promptly with any problems.

Preventing amputation is cheap, easy, and effective—and not always done. Stay alert.