I usually try to keep things light around here, but every once in a while I come across a report so serious that I have to share it with my readers and patients. In my recent online readings, I found a report from The Canadian Institute for Health Information which revealed the shocking fact that more that 2,000 foot amputations took place in Canada in 2011-12 due to complications of diabetes.
In a country with a population much smaller than that of the U.S., that number is pretty bad, especially, says Dr. Jan Hux, chief scientific adviser for the Canadian Diabetes Association, when, “much of that could be prevented," with better blood sugar control and proper diabetic foot care.
Diabetes puts patients at risk for foot loss because the disease damages the small blood vessels that feed the nerves in the feet; as a result, diabetics lose sensation in the feet (neuropathy) and can’t always tell when they have cuts, blisters or abrasions there. Because of this lack of awareness, a cut or blister may be left untreated, allowing a small infection to progress and expand.
Compounding this problem is the fact that, for diabetics, once wounds form, they are slow to heal. Depending on how long a problem goes unnoticed and how far the damage has progressed, some people may need to have an amputation for something as simple as a blister that got infected.
Now, I’m not telling you all this just to scare you—I want you to be aware of the worst case scenario so that we never reach that point. If you have diabetes, visit your Houston podiatrist regularly to have your feet thoroughly checked and examine your own feet daily so that we can treat any wound immediately at Tanglewood Foot Specialists.