Diabetes mellitus is a condition that impacts people’s lives in many ways: you should always be aware of what you eat, keep track of blood sugar levels, take medications on time, and be careful and disciplined in general. The one thing rarely discussed among patients is the danger of diabetic foot ulcers and the way they can even lead to diabetes leg amputation. Yes, you’ve heard us right.
The thing is, these sores usually develop because of poor blood circulation and irregular sugar levels, and they may occur even because of the slightest injuries. Unfortunately, according to the latest statistics, up to 85% of diabetics suffer from this problem and undergo minimal amputation. However, there are some ways to keep feet and legs healthy and take this condition under control, and that’s exactly what we are going to talk about today. Continue reading to find out more valuable information on this topic.
Diabetes is an illness tightly connected with two other health conditions – diabetic neuropathy and peripheral artery disease; they usually seriously increase the chances of a diabetic toe amputation (or the limb in general) in the future. Let’s have a closer look at them:
Except for the conditions mentioned above, some other aspects may increase the possibility of limb amputation for diabetic patients. For example, the following issues shouldn’t be ignored:
It is crucial to pay close attention to one’s foot condition and contact a medical professional as soon as any mentioned-above symptoms are mentioned. It will not only increase the quality of life and preserve health but also prevent such unfortunate procedures as limb amputation.
It is very important to understand the relationship between diabetes, insulin and potassium. Our article what Is the Relationship Between Diabetes, Insulin, and Potassium will help you understand this. Go and learn the important information first.
Now that you have a better understanding of why do people with diabetes lose limbs, let’s have a closer look at some prevention methods. Those with diabetes should be extra careful and take good care of their feet in order to avoid conditions that may lead to amputation. Overall, it is recommended to make health the main priority and constantly be in touch with a doctor in case something unusual occurs. Diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure – whatever it is, try to take it under control.
Some pieces of advice should be taken into consideration because, by following them, it is possible to seek medical help on time and prevent various severe health conditions; without further ado, let’s have a closer look at those:
In order o prevent a lower limb amputation, a person should be extra careful and pay attention to the changes in their bodies. We highly recommend expecting feet every day and paying attention to the slightest changes, such as:
Temperature changes may also point out that some processes in the body don’t work properly; to check whether feet haven’t lost their sensitivity, a person may use a feather and try to run it gently along the foot. If they have trouble inspecting everything on their own, a family member, friend, or partner may help to make sure no working signs are missed.
Even if diabetic foot ulcers are bad and need immediate medical help, amputation is still not the only option a medical professional can offer (of course, we are talking about the cases when a person informed a doctor about the problem on time). Based on the situation, the following alternatives may be recommended:
Of course, a medical specialist’s main priority is to preserve their customers’ health and find the most beneficial solution to their problems. That’s why, even though foot amputation may seem cruel, sometimes it’s the only option left. Yes, sometimes it’s enough to remove dead tissue and check the area every 1-4 weeks, but it is essential to be ready for another scenario.
After surgery, it is required to stay in the hospital for a few days to see how the recovery process is going; usually, 4-6 weeks are enough for everything to heal completely. Moreover, after this procedure, it is crucial to follow a diabetes treatment plan because those who had one amputation are more likely to need another one in the future. It is better to maintain a healthy diet, exercise more, quit smoking, and keep up with a previously developed blood sugar control scheme to avoid it. Sometimes, it is recommended to have an appointment with these specialists: an endocrinologist, physical therapist, mental health expert, occupational therapist, and social worker.
In case limb amputations is the only option left, it is crucial to discuss the procedure with a doctor and highlight all the details that may worry a patient or make their anxiety too bad. We recommend writing them down in order not to forget anything important; here are a few of the most common questions:
To not be too anxious about lower extremity amputation, it is crucial to be aware of the details of this process. In this way, it will be easier to plan the routine and aftercare plan, as well as discuss it with people who will take care of a patient after the operation. Let’s have a closer look.
After the surgery is finished, a patient is sent to a recovery room. There, a nurse should monitor one’s blood pressure, pulse, and breathing. If all numbers are satisfactory, a person is sent to the hospital room; according to the protocol, the following things can be expected there:
After surgery, approximately two weeks should be spent in the hospital. During this period, a medical team should take care of a person’s blood sugar levels and check the treated area for signs of infections.
Sometimes, a patient can be sent home after a few days in the hospital; it’s a good sign, and it means that the area is healing correctly and there’s no need to be absorbed by specialists. At this stage, it is essential to follow all doctor’s recommendations regarding bathing, physical therapy, certain activities, and caring about the wound. If there is any painful sensation, it is crucial only to take medications recommended by a professional, so don’t try to use whatever is present in your medicine cabinet (for example, aspirin can raise the chances of bleeding and slow down the recovery process).
Note: It is crucial to contact a doctor if any adverse reactions occur. Redness, bleeding, swelling, numbness, or constant painful sensation in the treated region can be a sign of post-surgery complications, so getting in touch with a specialist is vital.
Like any other surgery, limb amputation can be followed by some risks, like blood clots or infections. Sometimes, patients experience the following problems:
Sometimes, minor surgery may be needed to deal with these issues; however, massage, acupuncture, and other procedures may be enough for some individuals. All the decisions should be discussed with medical professionals during the appointment, so keep that in mind as well.
Rehab is a natural process for such a complicated and stressful operation as leg or foot amputation; that’s why rehabilitation is needed for one’s physical health improvement and mental health rehab. After this procedure, it is common for patients to experience such things as grief, depression, anxiety, denial, and even suicidal feelings. If so, talking to a care team about how you feel after the operation is vital. They can assign you to special support groups, psychiatrists, or even medications if there is a need for them.
Leg amputation caused by diabetes mellitus is a problem often caused by this health condition. If taken care of properly, this issue can be avoided, but it is important to follow all doctor’s recommendations and safety rules mentioned in this article. Sometimes, it can be enough just to remove dead tissue or a toe; in this way, a person may continue living a full life without losing a limb. We hope you found all the crucial details in this article. Thank you for visiting our blog!
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