DIABETES, AMPUTATION AND COVID 19!
“Don’t cut off your Nose to Spite your Face!”
Obviously – - this is NOT the surgery we are going to be discussing today! Actually, what brings us back to the topic of Foot Care is a recent study conducted in Italy. A group from the University of Campania evaluated the results of a study by a Care Center for Diabetic Foot Ulceration (DFU) and made some rather sobering discoveries.
Compared to a similar study in 2019, they found that there was a major increase in the number of cases of Gangrene: 64% in 2020 compared to 24% in 2019. Equally alarming were the number of Amputations performed: 60% in 2020, while there was only an 18% occurrence in 2019. The conclusion arrived at was the fact that the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in people not making arrangements to get timely attention for their foot problems.
It is because of this conclusion that we strongly suggest that not only should you continue to be attentive to your Feet, but that as soon as you recognize an issue with them you make immediate arrangements to get to a doctor and have it attended to. In line with this, we thought it might be beneficial to share the following information with you.
First of all, it is estimated that Diabetics are 15 times more likely to have an Amputation than those who do not suffer from the condition. Further, the older you get the greater the risk becomes. As a result, there are several areas the Diabetic should be acutely aware of.
As previously mentioned, it is imperative that paying attention to your Feet should become an aggressive and not passive undertaking. With that thought in mind, issues you need to be especially aware of include, but are not limited to:
- A bad odor from a wound on the Foot
- Swelling of the Foot/Feet
- Warmth in an area of the Foot
- Open Sores
- An ulcer that lasts more than a week
If you discover any of these you should make immediate arrangements to contact your doctor to allow them to get involved in proper treatment of the problem.
The ideal situation, of course, is to do those things necessary to avoid the afore mentioned symptoms. The best way to do this is by managing your Blood Sugar levels. Ways this can be accomplished include, but are not limited to:
- Exercise for at least 30 Minutes per day
- Reduce Stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid sugar-sweetened juice and soda
- Check your Blood Sugar Levels regularly
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
- Take all prescribed Medications as instructed
On a more specific basis, Diabetics should also concentrate on proper Foot Care. Steps in this realm include, but are not limited to:
- Do a Daily Foot Inspection, where you look for Blisters, Bruises, Discoloration, Wounds and Redness.
- Wiggle your toes throughout the course of the day to ensure proper blood flow.
- Wear clean, dry socks without elastic bands.
- Test your Feet to see if they can sense heat or cold.
- DO NOT Soak your Feet.
- DO Wash them daily and dry them thoroughly.
- DO NOT go barefoot – Indoors or Outdoors.
- DO NOT remove callouses, bunions or corns by yourself. Get assistance from your doctor.
That Diabetics is a challenge is an understatement. But, it is not a challenge that has to be faced alone. Especially in the realm of Feet and Amputation, as soon as there becomes an issue, even a minor one!, it definitely behooves the Diabetic to make arrangements to get to the doctor and allow them to assist in ensuring that Amputation does not become a necessary alternative, even if it means facing COVID-19 head on!
If you, or someone you know, needs help in managing their Diabetes, please call AVEON HEALTH at 480-300-4663 to make an appointment with a member of our staff and allow them to escort you down the path to an improved quality of life for you and your loved ones!
This Blog was written, in part, with information gleaned from the following sources: