SAVE THE DIABETIC FOOT
(kOTA, RAJASTHAN, INDIA)
THE PHOTOGRAPH IS OF THE AUUTHOR
SAVE THE DIABETIC FOOT
A Foot Start Approach:
A Diabetic patient becomes very careful about regular blood Sugar monitoring and the necessary medications but is ignorant about realizing that a minor problem in his foot that goes un-noticed can in due course of time progress to a major traumatic happening in his life.
Burning and pricking sensations of the foot, along with pain and discomfort while walking are early signals of diabetic foot involvement. Usually a patient some time fails to report these indicators to their Physician. Therefore besides conducting routine investigations of a diabetic patient, the condition of the foot of the patient should not be ignored.
The patient has to be pre-warned about the various complications that are involved. A diabetic patient becomes prone to Hypertension, Obesity, Cardio Vascular Ailments among them is hidden and unlooked proneness to Foot abcesses, ulcers, gangrene etc. The battle is won if the foot of the patient can be saved by proper and timely guidance by the treating Physician and other doctors.
The dreadful aspect of Diabetes:
One of the most dreaded complications of diabetes is gangrene of foot and leg. Approximately more than 50% of all diabetic patients suffer from peripheral neuropathy , 25% suffer from vasculopathy, and 15% suffer from foot problems (deformity, ulcer gangrene). Therefore more than 1 score of persons with diabetes are likely to suffer from foot and leg problems.
It is important to realize that the majority of these patients will be in the age group of 35 to 45 years. Many of them are likely to loose their legs. This can be a serious economic and social problem. Therefore we in India need to find solutions, which are affordable and accessible to all in need.
It has now been accepted that only strategy for preventing amputation of a leg, is to prevent foot ulcers. This can be accomplish by properly controlling diabetes, having regular check ups for Neuropathy and Vasculopathy, andgetting advise on the correct footwear. Once Neuropathy and Vasculopathy is diagnosed, a proper and timely treatment prevents the foot ulcer.
Foot ulcers and other foot problems are one of the most common causes of morbidity, significant disability, and even mortality among the diabetics in our country.
Amputations that can be prevented:
About 50,000 amputations of lower limbs are done for diabetic gangrene every year in India. Sadly, thousands of them go unreported. Society pays for amputations but not for saving any limbs. We need to change this. The progress in accepting scientific ways to save the foot is slow.
Just as a tripod relies on all three legs to stand properly, the standard care for diabetic ulceration of foot depends upon debriment, antibiotics, and pressure relief. Failure to address any of these three areas can lead to serious complications or possible amputation/s.
It is adequately apparent that rural or semi-urban areas also have large enough prevalence
of diabetes. It is a public health issue. According to W.H.O
, there are 8 scores of people who will be suffering from diabetes in India. Out of this number, there is 1 score of patient’s feet that will be at risk of suffering from leg and foot ulcers. Diabetic foot forms up to one third of all admissions in local hospitals. The morbidity and low quality of life after amputation is very painful.
Diabetic Foot Society of India leads in it’s crusade:
Diabetic foot Society of India (DFSI) has tirelessly worked to train and sensitize thousands of medical professionals who deal with diabetic foot problems. It is there mission to prevent any amputations. Hand book of Diabetic Foot Care published by (DFSI) in Nov. 2005 was a run away success. The large number of informative booklets were distributed among doctors.
DFSI’s Hand Book is adequate for quickly understanding the issues of Neuropathy and it’s assessment on how to relate risks of diabetic foot with ulcer, amputation proneness thus detecting a foot at risk, peripheral vascular disease conservative foot salvage surgery, the need for higher referral and diabetic footwear.
It also emphasizes on the immediate care, to contain and care and cure the first contact point on health care. We hope it helps the front line soldiers of our profession, who often work with limited facilities.A successful diabetic foot care programme focuses it’s efforts on prevention.
Two very important aspects of preventive approach are education and the use of proper footwear. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for a patient to seek foot care advice only after he or she has already developed a problem...such as diabetic ulcer. Often these patients have never been tested for peripheral neuropathy and vasculopathy or have not been tested recently and many are altogether unaware of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and it’s associated risks.
It can be quite challenging to convince persons who have never had foot discomfort to restrict their footwear choice to only those shoes that are considered by health care providers to be appropriate – this task can be completed most efficiently when a diabetic foot care team, whose members support each other and collaborate in the interest of patients.
Diabetic Foot Care is a Team Work:
To prevent the dreaded complications of diabetic foot from progressing to a stage requiring amputation, it is necessary for Diabetic Foot Clinics in hospitals, to have a team of specialists readily available at all times. A multi-disciplinary Diabetic Foot Clinic in the hospital can reduce the number of Amputations and can also be developed as a successful model of diabetic care through out the world.
Gateway optimal health is with you on your journey to Disease free Healthy Life Styles.
Author: Jagmohan Singh Chadha
The author has 30 years experience in Pharmaceuticals & Nutrition Industry. You shall get a chance to see more information on Optimal Health and Disease topics at this site regularly.