Amputation remains one of the very real complications faced by diabetics. The problem can start out very mild, with neuropathy causing the patient to lose feeling enough for ulcers to form. From this, more serious foot problems can develop, which if left untreated can lead to amputation. However, an expert team from the University of Bristol has identified some changes in skin tissue that tend to occur before the development of leg ulcers.
Cutting the risk of complications is a matter of keeping blood glucose stable, as well as keeping blood pressure and cholesterol at low levels. Diabetes UK estimates that approximately 50,000 diabetics have foot ulcers at any one time, and a shocking 15 per cent of these end in amputation. Type 2 diabetics have been found to be more at risk. Furthermore, the condition often goes undetected, and the risk factors are not addressed.
The researchers took data from a study group of 14 patients who had suffered lower-limb amputation. Skin tissue from the amputated legs was compared with skin tissue from the healthy leg.
By understanding clearly the process by which skin develops ulcers, the scientists may be able to develop treatments. Hopefully, alleviating the problems will become a reality, but prevention must be focused upon also.

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