The message is hard to get through, but a person with diabetes , no matter what stage, has to have their feet monitored every two months. The problem is that, often, diabetics themselves ignore the risks associated with their feet. However, in France, diabetes is responsible for about 3, 000 amputations a year.
If you have diabetes, you are 15 times more likely to be amputated than a non-diabetic. This risk can be avoided or greatly reduced with good hygiene and good supervision. Explanations.
Why such risks?
Diabetes alters nerves, immune defenses and blood circulation. Over time, the sugar, too abundant in the blood, is deposited on the nerves and alters their function. The nerves most often affected are those that can feel the pain (sensory nerves). This is what doctors call a neuropathy. But other nerves can also be affected, such as the small nerves that control the blood capillaries, those that give sensitivity to the bones (the feet can deform without being sensed).
Immune defenses are also weakened by the disease, making patients more vulnerable to infections.
The circulation of the blood is also affected: The arteries can, sometimes, become clogged (it is the arteritis). Result: in many cases, the foot is deformed and mistreated in poorly fitting shoes; lesions appear that the person does not feel or take seriously; an infection occurs that can lead to ... amputation. The risks are, most of the time, related to micro-traumatisms: bad shoes, a horn on the feet, an ingrown toenail, a poorly adapted pedicure, or related to static disorders of the foot.You want to react, to give your testimony or to ask a question? Appointment in our FORUMS Diabetes or A doctor answers you!
Author: Sylvie Charbonnier.
Expert consultant: Florence Regard, chiropodist.