Diabetes and the Risk of Chronic Wounds
Chronic wounds are one of the most common complications in people living with diabetes. Left untreated, they can cause decreased mobility and result in amputation.
In 2010, over 73,000 adults with diabetes underwent an amputation. Of all non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, 60 percent are related to diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Unfortunately, many people do not realize how quickly foot ulcers can progress to amputation.
But the truth of the matter is that amputations are preventable with good diabetes management and wound care. In fact, 4 of every 5 amputations are preventable. With regular screenings and proper care, you can avoid these devastating consequences.
Get your screening today. Call the Wound Center at Vascular Health in Bakersfield at 888-918-3137 and schedule an appointment.
Why does diabetes increase the risk of wounds?
The effects and complications of diabetes can lead to poor circulation, chronic wounds (diabetic foot ulcers), and ultimately, amputation, if not treated properly. There are several factors associated with diabetes that increase the risk of chronic wounds:
- Poor circulation – Diabetes can restrict blood flow to blood vessels in the the feet. Poor circulation decreases your ability to fight infection if you develop diabetic foot ulcers.
- Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) – Many diabetic patients develop PAD, which occurs when the blood vessels in the legs are blocked or narrowed by fatty deposits. This, in turn, decreases blood flow to the legs and feet. Chronic wounds are a symptom of PAD.
- Neuropathy – Diabetes can damage nerves as well, causing many patients to develop neuropathy. Neuropathy can be painful, but can also
cause loss of feeling. Diabetics who have a foot injury, blister, or wound may not even realize it until it becomes infected.