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Updated on March 16, 2011




  • Every 30 seconds a leg is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world.
  • 70% of all leg amputations world wide are caused by diabetes.
  • Most amputations begin with foot ulcers.
  • 5% of Indians with diabetes have to put up with a foot problem.

The good news is that 85% of amputations caused by diabetic foot ulcers are preventable.

Diabetic person's feet are vulnerable.

Diabetes affects the feet because nerves in this region are the longest in the body. Deficiency in insulin causes under - utilization of glucose in the nerves. This glucose gets converted into toxic deposits in the nerves and affects circulation. Diabetics often suffer from a burning sensation in the feet and legs.

Get Help Early

Because of neuropathy i.e. lack in sensation in the feet, diabetics often report foot wounds late. As nerves get burnt out, one also suffers painless deformities of the feet. Vasculopathy results from an accumulation of cholesterol in blood vessels, causing them to narrow down and obstruct circulation. In diabetic patients, age related degeneration of blood vessels is four times faster. As a result, the person could suffer from gangrene in the leg. A leg bypass surgery helps preserve blood circulation and thus stops the progression of gangrene that may have begun with an ulcer.

Actually, diabetes has an impact on almost every part of the body - the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. A simple blister, if untreated can develop into an abscess, a non - healing wound, even gangrene.

Early Prevention

The problem of containing an infection in diabetics is huge. Doctors must remove shoes and socks of diabetics and examine their feet. Losing a foot has huge social and economic implications and should be prevented.

Daily foot Care

Examine your feet every day for blisters, cuts and scratches. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following danger signs :

  • Swelling
  • Colour change of a nail, toe, or part of a foot
  • Pain or throbbing
  • Thick hard skin or corns
  • Breaks in the skin, including cracks and blisters

Lifelong Care

Diabetics must keep the foot clean and injury - free at all times. The power of prevention in diabetic foot care is immense. Round - the - year care can do wonders in preserving circulation in the legs and thus ensure, healthy and happy feet.

Diabetic Foot showing ulcers

Maggots removed from ulcerated Diabetic Foot
Maggots removed from ulcerated Diabetic Foot
Diabetic Charcot Foot
Diabetic Charcot Foot
Ulcerated Diabetic Foot
Ulcerated Diabetic Foot


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    • vnsatakopan profile image

      Dr.Vangeepuram Navaneetham Satakopan 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Great information. Somehow, people forget about their feet while having diabetes.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 6 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Thanks for your comment patdmania.

    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 6 years ago from waterford, mi

      I see this all the time as a paramedic. When diabetics wait too long to get treated. The leg becomes infected and sepsis sets in. It can be gross if left alone to long.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 7 years ago from Nagpur, India

      ThanQ HealthyHanna for your comment.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      Good information. Thanks. I am goint to link to it from my site.

    • olaoyemi profile image

      olaoyemi 7 years ago

      Thanks a lot.I have been suffering from diabetes for long and to let you know my plight,I inherited it from my parent.I am very grateful for this information.

    • profile image

      M Morse 7 years ago

      Wow, I have Charcot Marie Tooth and these pictures just scared the crap out of me. Glad I bought my RX Crocs to help out.

    • profile image

      diabetic foot care 8 years ago

      My father, when I was younger, had diabetes. I can remember him having those same kinds of sores on the bottom of his feet. The amount of pain he must have gone through almost kills me. The most interesting thing is that he was Indian and I will bet that those problems he had could have been prevented. Those pictures are worth a thousand words. Don't put off taking care of your feet.

    • Kulsum Mehmood profile image

      Dr Kulsum Mehmood 8 years ago from Nagpur, India

      Hi Jeniferr. Thank you for stopping by.

    • Jeniferr profile image

      Jeniferr 8 years ago from United States

      Wow, those pictures are alarming to say the least. This is a very effective way to get diabetics to pay attention to their feet. I'm speechless.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 8 years ago from Australia

      Kulsum Mehmood, good information on the feet of diabetic. I do not think enough doctors stress how important foot health is for the diabetic. A friend of mine lost his leg for the very reason he did not feel an injury that he had suffered.