Beat it

Beat it

How diabetes can lead to limb loss


by Ilene Raymond Rush
Poorly controlled diabetes can spawn a host of medical problems that can lead to amputations, but generally, a triad of issues tend to be present.
Neuropathy, a nerve condition that numbs the feet and toes, can prevent people with diabetes from feeling pain in their toes or feet, which which could lead to their not knowing about injuries, or neglecting them.
Circulation problems may interfere with wound healing, which, in turn, can lead to sepsis, or overwhelming infections.
And a slowed down immune response means that many with diabetes have trouble fighting off infections, which can lead to amputations.
Early signs of circulation problems include cramps in lower legs or thighs while walking or a loss of hair on legs or toes. To combat this, Ronald Renzi, an Abington podiatrist, recommends a simple once-a-year blood pressure test on the ankle to check blood flow.