Diabetes is a complicated condition that requires a full commitment from patients in order to prevent problems and complications. Diabetes can affect all different areas of your body, but new research says the most problematic of them all is what the disease can do to your feet. Today, we take a closer look at why it is so important to care for your feet if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes.
Detrimental Diabetic Foot Ulcers
The newest information on diabetic foot ulcers comes out of Thailand, and it speaks to just have devastating they can be. For their study, lead researcher Dr. Apiradee Sriwijitkamol recruited 254 adults with diabetes to determine which complications from diabetes are the most problematic in terms of decreased quality of life. The complications they studied were:
- Diabetic foot ulcers
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Diabetic retinopathy (loss of vision)
All of the participants were polled about a number of different factors, including their issues, how it affected their life or mobility, their pain scores, their emotional health and other quality of life questions.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers Most Concerning
You might assume that amputation would lead to the lowest quality of life, but that’s not exactly what researchers found. Here are some of the findings they uncovered:
- Compared against all groups, participants with diabetic foot ulcers had the lowest mean utility value, although they had similar utility values as those who underwent amputations.
- 21 percent of participants with diabetic foot ulcers lost their job due to their complications.
- Moderate to severe problems were reported more frequently among participants with diabetic foot ulcers compared to all other groups, except on questions about anxiety/depression levels.
“From this study we show that quality of life in patients with diabetic foot problems is worse than those with other diabetes complications and the quality of life is significantly lower across all dimensions,” Sriwijitkamol said. “Lower quality of life in patients with diabetic foot problems also created a health burden, they cannot walk so they have to depend on others and some even lost their jobs.”
In the end, it’s easy to see how a complication can snowball out of control and end up severely crippling a person’s quality of life. That’s why it is so important to take care of your feet and your overall health if you are diabetic. If you’d like to learn more about how you can care for either if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, check out some of these links or drop a line to Dr. Silverman by filling out the question box below.
Lance Silverman, MD
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