LIVEWELL MINUTE: Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Approximately three million diabetics in the United States will be hospitalized with a foot complication at some time during the course of their disease. Iowa Health - Des Moines wants you to be aware of the risks associated with foot ulcers.
Dr. Lee Evans, DPM Des Moines Orthopeadic Surgeons says, “Diabetes affects circulation as well as the nerve endings in the feet. As a result, many diabetics suffer reduced circulation and loss of sensation in their feet. The loss of sensation is dangerous, because they are unable to feel pain that could cause a wound to develop on the foot.”
Lack of circulation to the feet also makes it very difficult for a wound to heal. Risk factors for developing a diabetic foot ulcer include:
- Loss of sensation
- Structural foot deformity
- Infection and
- Decreased circulation
Prevention is the best way to avoid dealing with diabetic foot ulcers.
Dr. Evans says, “Proper foot care and attention to cuts, abrasions and blisters as they arise can prevent serious wounds from forming. See your healthcare provider immediately if you suffer from a foot ulcer. Untreated, a diabetic foot ulcer can lead to very serious complications, including gangrene, amputation, or complicated illness.”