Why Diabetes may Cause Amputation?

Diabetes Amputation: diabetic complications are the foremost cause of amputation of feet, toes, legs, hands and arms.

Himanshu Sharma
Written by: Himanshu SharmaUpdated at: May 18, 2012 15:01 IST
Why Diabetes may Cause Amputation?

Diabetes is a combination of several diseases that puts forth complications of varied kinds. Heart diseases, kidney concerns, retinopathy and neuropathy have been associated with diabetes. Nerve disease caused by type 2 diabetes mellitus cause the amputation of feet, toes, legs, hands and arms. The diabetic dysfunctions in which amputation becomes necessary are ascribed as diabetic neuropathies.

These health concerns in diabetes are mild in the beginning and become harmful for the body if left untreated. Diabetes-linked amputations can be prevented by medical intervention and better administration of diabetes. Intervention for preventing amputation aims at increasing insulin sensitivity and maintaining the balance of blood glucose and insulin (insulin resistance).

Factors Leading to Amputation

  • Peripheral neuropathy, vascular disease, infection and deformity of the feet predispose ulceration, which may lead to amputation.
  • Amputations are broadly categorised into two groups: major and minor. Minor amputation refers to the removal of toes or feet whereas major amputation refers to amputation above or below the knee.
  • Diabetes is more likely to mar the elderly in comparison with younger age groups. On similar lines, amputation rate also increases with age.

Amputation Problems

  • Diabetes is identified as the leading cause of amputation of the lower limbs.
  • Foot problems are most commonly reported in the individuals who have diabetes.

Signs of Amputation Risk

  • Mild cuts, sores, burns, blisters and ulcers signify the risk of amputation.
  • Reduced circulation or sensation in the foot is another indicator of amputation risk.
  • Numbness, sprain and weakness in the hands, arms, feet and legs and the after effects of neuropathies are the plausible symptoms of amputation risk.
  • Problems of digestive tract, heart and sex organs are other indicators of amputation risk.
  • Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X), persistent high blood glucose, history of diabetes and abnormal blood fat levels indicate the risk of amputation.
  • Damage to the blood vessels and carpal tunnel syndrome are the neurological factors that indicate amputation risk.
  • Indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, urination difficulties, erectile dysfunction (ED) and vaginal dryness are ailments that point out amputation risk.

Prevention of Amputation

  • Management of insulin sensitivity of cells of the body helps in prevention of amputation.
  • Diabetes-related foot problems are preventable through simple foot care routines, which include foot check-ups.
  • Attempts should be made to reduce the diabetic complications to avert the amputation risk.



Read more articles on Diabetes