Foot amputations can be prevented if patients with Type 2 diabetes adopt regular podiatry care at home and seek a medical check-up every quarter and a comprehensive check-up once a year, says experts.
Globally, more than 40-50 per cent of foot amputations in Type 2 diabetes patients can be avoided through early detection and prevention techniques. Foot assessment should be part of routine diabetic care.
A person with Type 2 diabetes is at risk of several complications including neuropathy or damage to nerves. The nerve damage can result in loss of sensation in the feet, leading to foot complications like ulceration and amputation.
Further, damage to the blood vessels from diabetes results in poor blood circulation in the feet, making healing harder in the presence of a sore or infection.
When a person with diabetes suffers from neuropathy, he may not be able to feel his feet, leading to abnormal pressure on the skin, bones and joints while walking. Sores may develop, which do not heal due to the impairment of the immune system by diabetes.
The infections can develop into gangrene. Antibiotics do not work to treat the infection and often amputation of the foot or leg is the only treatment. More than 40-50 per cent of foot amputations can be prevented with early detection.
The screening and early detection are integral in reducing cases of diabetic foot. Diabetic patients should examine their feet and care for their feet , including nail care regularly at home, every three months at a clinic and opt for a comprehensive check up once a year.