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American Diabetes Month – The Relationship Between Diabetes and Limb Loss

Person checking their blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is the number one reason Americans undergo amputation. This disease can cause nerve damage, ulcers, infections and other foot-related ailments that can quickly worsen. Those who have experienced limb loss as a result of diabetes are also at risk of experiencing a second amputation.

BioAdvance Prosthetic Solutions is here to help. In honor of American Diabetes Month, we’re going to look at the top three reasons why diabetes causes amputation, and what you can do about it:

1. Damaged blood vessels and nerves

If your blood sugar stays at high levels for too long, you run the risk of damaging blood vessels and nerves, especially in your extremities. This leads to a decreased sensation, which means you may not notice at first if you get a cut, sore or a blister on your foot. Foot ulcers are the first event in 85% of major amputations for those living with diabetes. Any one of those can then turn into an infection that isn’t able to heal properly. You can protect your feet by having one of our orthotists create custom orthotic shoes for you.

2. Decreased white blood cell effectiveness

High levels of blood sugar not only lead to damaged nerves and blood vessels, but they also lead to decreased effectiveness of white blood cells. This means your body will not be able to fight any infections that occur on your feet. By managing your blood sugar, you will decrease the likeliness that an infection is unable to heal.

3. Poor circulation

The third thing that high blood sugar causes is poor circulation, which means less blood is getting to your extremities. This makes it easier for ulcers to develop, which when combined with your body’s decreased ability to fight infections, can lead to amputation. Staying consistent with your blood sugar management program can help you avoid amputation, as well as ceasing any bad habits such as smoking.

BioAdvance Prosthetic Solutions wants to help our patients avoid additional amputation. Fortunately, when it comes to diabetes, proper blood sugar management and foot care can go far in prevention.

See us today, so we can answer any questions you have!


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