Diabetes can cause atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque that causes the arteries to harden and narrow. This buildup results in a reduction of blood flow to the legs and feet, which is commonly referred to as poor circulation.
“Your feet are an early warning system for vascular disease,” said APMA President R. Daniel Davis, DPM. “That is why podiatrists are often the first physicians to spot vascular disease. It’s also why it is so important to include a podiatrist as part of your diabetes management team. Vascular disease is serious and can increase your risk for amputation. If your condition worsens, it may be necessary for your podiatrist to refer you to a vascular surgeon.”
Podiatrists are physicians who are specially trained to treat foot conditions that can be caused by diabetes, such as neuropathy, infection, and ulcers. Studies have proven that care provided by a podiatrist can reduce amputation rates by 45 to 85 percent.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage called neuropathy, a loss of feeling in the feet. This condition means people with diabetes may injure their feet and not know it. These injuries can become infected and lead to amputation.
“Every 20 seconds, somewhere in the world a limb is lost as a result of diabetes,” said APMA President Phillip E. Ward, DPM. “A daily foot self-exam, along with regular visits to a podiatrist, is the best way to prevent foot complications and amputation. If you have trouble reaching your feet to inspect them, prop up a mirror on the floor or ask a friend or family member to help.”
Podiatrists are physicians who are specially trained to treat foot conditions that can be caused by diabetes, such as neuropathy, infection, and ulcers. Studies have proven that podiatric medical care can reduce amputation rates by 45 to 85 percent. Reference www.apma.org
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