Diabetes-related amputations force one man to finally get healthy

Diabetes comes with its share of challenges.

But many people don't realize that amputations are one of the risks of the disease.

Albert Henry knows this a bit too well. Henry--in his early 70s--was diagnosed with diabetes nearly two decades ago and has had both of his legs amputated because of the disease.

“I didn’t do anything for it,” Henry said of his early days with diabetes. “Then I got a little blister on my right toe and it wouldn’t heal up. That’s how I lost my right leg.”

Diabetes and amputations

The complications that can happen with diabetes are numerous, but one side effect is poor circulation and nerve damage. When this happens, a patient can develop ulcers on the feet. Left untreated, it can cause damage to the bone and tissue--so much so that an amputation may be the only option.

“The toe started turning blue and the doctor thought he could save it, but the next toe started turning blue and they had to take it off,” Henry said.

Both of Henry's amputations were below the knee, and now he has two prosthetic legs. In addition to staying active and eating better, Henry says he now takes his diabetes much more seriously.

“I don’t eat as much as I used to,” Henry said. “I eat until I’m full and quit.”

Preventing problems

Cheryl Glover, diabetes coordinator for the Otoe-Missouria Special Diabetes Program, says that patients should listen to their bodies for danger cues.

“The first thing I tell people when they say they don’t feel well is, ‘Check your blood sugar.' Your blood sugar will tell you if something is wrong.”

And experts say that preventing diabetes-related amputations is as simple as proper foot care and regular exercise. Inspect feet daily for sores and cracks, trim toenails carefully and quit smoking, as it leads to poor circulation.

And if an injury doesn't heal within a few days? Call a doctor.

Source: Enid News

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