The Latest Diabetes-Related Amputation Statistic You Should Know
People with diabetes are at a risk of developing infections that can result in the need for an amputation. The problem has been increasing worldwide because the number of people with diabetes is also rising across the globe.
Diabetes UK, a research charity formed to combat diabetes in the UK, went through public health records of England and found an alarming rise in the number of amputations due to diabetes. The number has now risen to 20 per day, and is expected to rise unless a solution is found.
This problem is not an easy one to solve. Diabetes can cause Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which reduces blood flow to the foot, and Peripheral Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN), which damages the nerves in the legs and feet. People with PAD or PDN often report numbness in their feet, and without normal sensation, wounds and cuts may go unnoticed. Diabetes also slows the body’s repair system down, and small cuts or abrasions may take weeks, as opposed to days, to heal. Wounds and cuts in people with diabetes tend to stay open longer and can go unnoticed for a long period of time, allowing more time for infections to manifest and increasing risk of amputation.
There are a number of ways to combat foot ulcers and amputation. The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes to check their feet everyday or ask someone to help. The ADA also suggests washing the feet everyday, keeping them dry and smooth with lotion (but not between the toes!), and wearing socks and shoes at all times. We’ve compiled some other tips here.
Foot health for people with diabetes is very important, but it can be time-intensive and difficult. Some companies, like ours, are opting to innovate a solution to the problem. At Bonbouton, we are developing a smart insole to monitor foot health for people living with diabetes. The problem of diabetic foot ulcers is on the rise, but we are confident that innovative technology will help people living with diabetes advance their overall well-being.