Researchers in the United Kingdom have recently released a report that says increasing the provision of foot care services to those people with diabetes can be a key to reducing amputations. They also found that proper foot care can reduce the instance of ulcers in the same group of patients.
People have long known that issues with the feet can come with diabetes. Sadly, some of these people are forced to make the decision to have their foot or feet amputated due to diabetes-related problems. This particular study looked at data gathered over a 10-year period, from 2005 to 2015. What researchers found was that when people had ready access to foot care services, the number of amputations fell.
Ten foot care services were identified as being particularly important. These were:
These were just a few of the components the research team identified. Others included administrative support and an analysis of the base cause of amputations. The team pointed out that they discovered that only two of these components were funded between 2005 and 2007, while 9 or 10 were funded between 2009 and 2015.
At the end of the time period of study, amputations among diabetic patients had dropped to less than five per 10,000 patients from 35 per 10,000 patients just 10 years prior. While these statistics were taken from the United Kingdom, they are easily transferred to the United States where similar issues are faced.
The important thing to note is that amputations can be reduced. Having diabetes means taking proper care of your feet, and that starts at home. While medical professionals do need to have a deep understanding of and comprehensive plan for foot care among diabetic patients, home care can prevent many issues from arising. Aside from managing your diabetes, you can:
By paying close attention to your feet at home, you can help to prevent many of the issues that people with diabetes deal with. You can also help to prevent the need to make the stressful and overwhelming decision to have one or both feet amputated.
If you live in Salt Lake City and notice a problem with your feet, please reach out to Dr. Elizabeth Auger. Dr. Auger understands the special needs of diabetic patients and can help you develop an appropriate foot care plan. Call our office today to schedule your first appointment. We are happy to welcome you to our practice and promise to care for you with dignity and respect.