If you have diabetes you are at a higher risk of foot ulcers which lead to foot or leg amputation. In most cases diabetic people may develop two major conditions : Peripheral artery disease (PAD) and diabetic neuropathy.
PAD causes blood vessels that carry blood to your legs and feet to narrow and make you more likely to get ulcers (open sores) and infections. Because of your poor blood circulation foot ulcers may not heal. Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage. Because of your high blood sugar level caused by diabetes, nerves get damaged. So, you don’t feel any foot ulcers, infections ,sharp objects and foot pain. You may lose feelings in your foot.
But the good thing is if you care for your foot properly you can easily avoid foot ulcers. Because more than 80 percent of amputations begin with foot ulcers.
Who is at higher risk?
Some people with diabetes are more at risk than others. Factors that lead to an increased risk of an amputation include:
- High blood sugar levels
- Foot ulcers
- Slow healing wounds
- Nerve damage in the feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- Calluses or corns
- Foot deformities
- Poor blood circulation to the extremities (peripheral artery disease)
- Toenail fungus or other toenail infections
- A past amputation
- Vision impairment
- Kidney disease