The Roundup -

Do you know some of these serious risks that can be related to Diabetes, PAD and Peripheral Neuropathy?


Some major, common complications of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) include coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, stroke, nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Tragically many with diabetes or other circulation problems eventually require lower limb amputations. Those with DM should consider target goals that include HbA1c <7%, Systolic blood pressure ~135 and diastolic blood pressure ~80, Blood glucose 70-130 before meals.

Diabetic neuropathy affects ~50% of people with Diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy is the damage to nerves that carry sensory and motor information to and from the brain to the arms and legs (often referred to as "stocking-glove"). This can cause pain, loss of sensation and weakness. Furthermore, peripheral neuropathy commonly starts in the hands and toes and progresses to the arms and legs. Common causes of peripheral neuropathy include diabetes, excessive alcohol, cancer, lupus, exposure to poisons and trauma.

The American Diabetes Association now recommends people with DM be screened annually for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Less than 20% of people with PAD are diagnosed (most missed by not removing shoes during an exam). PAD undiagnosed becomes critical limb ischemia- not enough blood is delivered to the tissue to keep tissue alive. Within one year of onset of this critical limb ischemia 25% will die and 25% will require major amputation. It's best diagnosed using Doppler.

Other risk factors for lower limb amputation include:

• Absence of protective sensation due to peripheral neuropathy (Monofilament testing),

• Arterial insufficiency

• Foot deformity and callus formation resulting in focal areas of high pressure

• Autonomic neuropathy causing decreased sweating and dry, fissured skin.

• Limited joint mobility

• Obesity

• Impaired vision

• Poor glucose control leading to impaired wound healing

• Poor footwear that causes skin breakdown or inadequately protects the skin from high pressure and shear forces

• History of foot ulcer or lower extremity amputation

Up to 30 % of individuals with amputations undergo contralateral limb amputation within 1-3 years. Education and taking preventative measures is imperative!

LEAP (frog???)

What is LEAP?

LEAP stands for Lower Extremity Amputation Prevention. It's a comprehensive program that can dramatically reduce the risk for lower extremity amputations for those with Diabetes. The 5-Step program consists of Annual Foot Screening, Patient Education, Daily Self-Inspection, Footwear Selection, and Management of Simple Foot Problems.

Do you know about Monofilament and Vibratory screening?

Examination is key! Annual foot screening as mentioned above is a prevention screening to identify those who have lost protective sensation. With loss of protective sensation normal walking can result in such injuries. One method for examination for peripheral neuropathy is checking vibratory sense and monofilament. Inability to perceive the 128-Hz tuning fork or to feel a 10-g (5.07) monofilament on the bottom of the foot identifies people who are at increased risk of developing a foot ulcer, which is the leading cause for non-traumatic amputations leading to a 40-60% risk for 5-year mortality. The 2 tests should be performed at least every year.

Are there others things to consider?

Foot Care! Have your feet checked EVERY TIME you see your doctor.

• Check your feet everyday, top and bottom (use a mirror), and you many need help- let someone else look. Look between your toes. Look for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, dry skin, cracks. Call your doctor to report a problem.

• Corn and Callous care- rub gently with dry towel, NO corn plasters. If you have corn or callous buildup, go to the foot specialist to get them trimmed.

• Nail care- cut toenails straight across, smooth edges with emery board. NO scissors, knife or razor blades!

• Skin care- Check water temperature, wash feet everyday and pat dry with a towel. Dry between toes. Treat dry skin with an appropriate lotion, warm cold feet and NO heating pad or hot water soaking.

• Shoe selection- ALWAYS check inside of shoes before wearing them. Wear clean socks with no holes, seams, wrinkles or mendings. NO plastic flip-flops, pointy toed shoes or barefoot. Shoes that fit protect your feet: There should be a thumbs width between the end of the shoes and the end of the toe. Make sure someone measures your foot for you (don't rely on how the shoe "feels"). You may ask the health care professional to check your shoes before you wear them.

For more information you can go online


At the tenth annual Community Health Fair, there will be screening for protective sensation using Monofilaments and vibratory sensation using the tuning forks. Stop by Sidney Health Center's Physical Therapy booth to receive your free screening, instructions for foot care, and learn more about what you can do to help prevent risk of injury or amputation. The Physical Therapy booth will have a Physical Therapist available to answer any questions.


Reader Comments(1)

chiefsfan37 writes:

Has anyone here looked into topical pain management to fight neuropathy pain? These prescription pain gels provide relief when and where you need it with no side effects or pills. I highly suggest looking into it. If you want to know more, please ask or look up A&R Pharmacy. They answered all my questions and got me on the path to living normally again.


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