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How to Stop a Diabetic Amputation

Diabetes is a silent disease and you may be walking around today and not even aware that you are a diabetic. The fact remains that diabetes is growing at an alarming rate and statistics on American Diabetes Association site reveal that there are 18.8 million people diagnosed as being diabetic with a further 7 million people unaware that they have this disease and as such are not receiving treatment. If these figures are not alarming enough each year there are a large growing number of non trauma amputations with over fifty per cent of the amputations are performed on people with diabetes.

The irony of this is in most of the cases with good medical care can prevent an amputation. Firstly, who are these 7 million people who are unaware that they have diabetes?

  • people that are over 40 years of age or older
  • are smokers
  • obese
  • and who may be ignoring vague symptoms.


One of the more common amputations that is entirely preventable is for people that have ulcers on the foot or leg which do not heal and if left untreated lead to further complications that end with amputation. But there is a lot that you can do to lessen the chance of going under the knife. If you notice you are losing sensation in your feet or lower legs you will need to:

  • mention this to your doctor who will examine your feet thoroughly and check pressure sensation by using an instrument called a monofilament the doctor will note a score from this test. Yearly the same test should be performed to watch for any further change from the original score. This examination should form part of your annual check up.
  • at home you will need to use your vision to check your feet daily for anything that is unusual or not healing
  • if you are losing the sensation on your feet you are best to check water temperatures by hand so as to not to step into water that is too hot
  • always look inside shoes for any debris or stones before slipping them on
  • wear socks made of natural fibers such as cotton, wool or a mix of both to allow your feet to stay dry
  • to lessen the chance of ingrown toenails have your toenails cut by a podiatrist who can also treat any calluses or corns etc
  • if you smoke you will need to stop straight away. Further to the preventative information you need to watch for your feet becoming too dry as you lose the ability to sweat you will need to moisturize the skin on your feet to keep them moist and stop them from drying out altogether. Foot ulcers can develop by either by various sorts of constant pressure, the treatment is easy if you develop an ulcer you need to take the pressure off by elevating the foot. Ulcers of the feet can lead to amputation if not treated, ensure you follow the foot care advise given above to avoid diabetic complications.

POSTED ON July 6, 2011,