diabetic foot ulcer.pngIn individuals with diabetes, the average risk of foot ulcer development is 15%. Several factors such as walking barefoot at home/outside, inadequate education and care by healthcare providers and poor affordability are main causes for increased risk of foot ulcers. Unfortunately, cases are identified only in advanced stages when amputation becomes necessary leading to serious impact on physical (e.g. daily activities, mobility), social (productivity, dependency, etc) and economical (cost of treatment) status of the diabetic patient.

Risk factors for foot ulcers

  • Previous amputation
  • Past foot ulcer history
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Foot deformity
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Visual impairment
  • Diabetic nephropathy (especially patients on dialysis)
  • Poor glycemic control
  • Cigarette smoking

Timely detection is the best prevention in case of foot ulcers and simple interventions can reduce amputations by up to 80%. In individuals with long-standing diabetes, monitoring and control of  HbA1c, blood pressure, and lipid levels are crucial elements in the reducing risk of secondary complications involving nerves and circulation.

Every diabetic individual who has been suffering from diabetes, especially type 2 for more than one year should undergo foot examination at every Doctor visit because each one of them is at 100% risk of developing diabetic foot ulcers.

References:

http://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.ajim.20150302.11.pdf

http://www.endocrinologyadvisor.com/aade-2015/foot-exams-diabetic-foot-disease-diabetes-aade/article/431252/

http://jdfc.org/spotlight/prevalence-of-diabetic-foot-ulcer-and-associated-risk-factors-in-diabetic-patients-from-north-india/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4422657/

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/31/8/1679

Written by drpoojachhawcharia

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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