How to avoid diabetic limb salvage

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Diabetes is a disease that you should totally be conscious and aware of. For the most part, diabetes complications can be kept at bay when you have proper diabetes management. However, there are times that you just cannot control what comes next and the complications that come with your condition. These complications include poor blood circulation and nerve damage, which consequently make your feet vulnerable to ulcers. If not treated properly, these foot sores can worsen and could be difficult to handle and treat.

Lower limb amputation is an option and pathway to solve a complication brought about by diabetes. This is, of course, the last option and is preventable for most people. Better care for your diabetes have been proven to lower the rates of amputations, which have gone down 50 percent in the past years.

However, when foot ulcers do develop, it is necessary to initiate immediate and prompt care. If left untreated, an ulcer that does not heal may cause severe damage to the tissues and bone and may require surgical intervention such as removal of a part of the foot, the foot, or part of the leg.


To prevent this from happening, here’s what you need to do:

Without a doubt, the best precaution you could take to prevent diabetic limb salvage is proper diabetes management. This is side by side with exercise, a healthy diet, blood sugar monitoring, and a strict adherence to your medication routine.

Proper foot care also follows your diabetes management to prevent complications and problems from showing up—and if they do, you would know what to do next.

Inspect your feet daily

Inspect your feet daily, checking all sides including the bottom. Do this with the help of someone or a mirror. Any bruise, crack, blister, cut, redness, tenderness, or swelling should be reported or taken care of immediately. If you have any pain or swelling, report to your physician and see what may be the underlying cause. Inspect always for the color of your foot as this is a very good indication of the blood supply to your foot.  Monitor sensation such as its ability to feel touch and temperature.  Checking your feet daily is a crucial and very beneficial step towards prevention of diabetic limb salvage. Remember to not remove any calluses or lesions yourself to avoid injury. Avoid using sharp objects that may cause more harm to the area such as clippers, scissors, or nail files.

Good foot hygiene

Wash your feet daily and dry them gently, especially areas between the toes. Put powder to keep them dry and moisturizers to keep them soft. Always aim for a good hygiene regimen for your feet. Do not go barefoot anywhere to prevent injuries and always wear clean shoes and socks. Trim your toenails carefully or have them trimmed by a professional or a caregiver. All these have to be done in order to prevent any irritation or injuries to your foot that may cause larger problems.

Buy shoes that fit

Always remember to buy comfortable shoes that will provide you with proper cushioning and support for the your foot. Avoid shoes that are tight or narrow and that will crowd your toes. If you need orthopedic shoes, wear them—these help especially since they are designed to fit your feet exactly to its shape and size.

Stop smoking

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen delivered and damages circulation of blood to the body. These problems can result a plethora of complications such as wounds and very poor healing. If you need help quitting smoking, talk to a professional to guide you.

If you have a wound, monitor and report.

If you find yourself with a wound that mysteriously appeared, monitor and report it. If it is taking time to heal, then that should be a first sign of diabetes, especially if paired with decreased sensation.

If you have a history of Diabetes, make sure to always have a routine checkup with your doctor to catch a problem before it gets worse. A history of diabetes in the family may put you to greater risk especially if you have slow-healing wounds. Do not be afraid to consult with your physician about the risks and what you should do—all these precautionary measures can prevent you from going through serious complications. Take care of your health and your feet, and always see a doctor when you feel anything suspicious.

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