Sizing Up Foot Problems ( Diabetes )
Foot problems are an all too common part of diabetes, especially if you’ve had the disease for a very long time. Neuropathy and poor circulation, however, aren’t inevitable. Recent studies have shown that people who maintain good blood glucose control are less likely to develop nerve damage than those who don’t.
Here’s an idea of how foot problems can affect people with diabetes:
It is estimated that 15 to 25 percent of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer at least once in their lives. About 70 percent of these ulcers fully heal with good basic foot care.
Up to 10 percent of people with diabetes will have an amputation. Toe and partial foot amputations are the most common, followed by below-the-knee amputations.
The risk of amputation rises with increasing age, and is higher in men and among African Americans and Hispanic Americans. Experts believe that at least half of these amputations could be prevented by good blood glucose control, better preventive foot care, and better care of foot ulcers.
Talk to your diabetes care team about your chances for developing neuropathy and what you can do to prevent it.