Diabetes is a metabolic condition that can cause serious complications if not properly managed. Skin problems are one of the most common complications individuals with diabetes may face. Wounds that are merely a nuisance for healthy individuals may be more easily-acquired and more difficult to treat for those living with diabetes.
Preventing Diabetic Wounds
Following the diabetes management plan laid out by your healthcare provider and your diabetes management team is the best way to prevent diabetic wounds.
Individuals diagnosed with diabetes can prevent diabetes-related wounds by continually monitoring and managing blood glucose levels. Using a touchscreen insulin pump that continually monitors blood glucose levels can help individuals control blood sugar levels better than daily injections. In addition to strengthening the body’s defenses, it is important to regularly check your skin for any wounds and to continually monitor how they are healing.
Peripheral Neuropathy and Diabetic Wounds
Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that commonly develops in individuals with diabetes and contributes to the delayed healing and missed identification of diabetic wounds. This condition develops when glucose levels remain high and damage the peripheral nervous system.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 60-70% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes have some form of damage to the nervous system. This damage may result in numbness or tingling which affects a person’s ability to detect injuries. If a wound is left untreated, an infection can occur and cause even more concerns.
Foot Ulcers and Amputations
One wound common to individuals with diabetes is the foot ulcer. If not treated, foot ulcers may be serious enough to lead to amputation. In addition, The Amputee Coalition reports that each year more than 50% of all amputations performed in the U.S. were due to complications from diabetes.
If you notice a wound or sore is not healing, consult your healthcare provider. They will help care for the wound and may want to monitor your diabetes management plan more closely and make adjustments as needed.
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