For people suffering from diabetes, looking after their feet is very important, especially as there are a reported 1.5 million feet and leg amputations from diabetes-related complications every year. Figures from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) have shown that over 60 per cent of non-traumatic, lower-limb amputations undertaken in the United States is on people with diabetes.
With diabetes often causing some nerve damage in the extremities of the body, you may not be aware of an ulcer or foot injury brought about by the disease. Foot problems that are usually related to diabetes include foot ulcers, neuropathy, skin changes, calluses, poor circulation and infections.
This makes it imperative to know how to take care of your feet, and to recognise signs of diabetes-related complications, as part of successfully managing the disease. Regular podiatry can help lower amputation rates by between 45 and 85 per cent. It is also recommended you check your feet for signs of ulcers, such as redness, cracking, irritation and drainage on socks.
Dr. Kathleen Stone, president of the APMA, commented ” Research has shown that up to 25 per cent of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lifetime. Foot ulcers and infections are the most common reason for hospitalization of those with the condition. However, these problems are largely preventable.”
She added “Podiatrists are an integral part of the diabetes management team, and are experts in wound care. They can help patients with diabetes avoid ulcers and treat foot problems that arise.”

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