During this past month, I have been disheartened to see a lot of new patients come to my office for the first time with a long-standing ulceration, or wound on the foot. Primarily, this is due to neuropathy, which is a broad term used to describe how nerves become diseased and no longer work properly.
In diabetes, high amounts of sugar in the bloodstream cause a toxic environment, and the long nerves from the brain to toe get the most damage and “lose feeling.” Once feeling is lost, the ability to tell the body that it is hurt is gone. Pressure with each step or a tiny cut goes unnoticed and the foot continues to smash a tiny sore into a large, painless wound. Sadly, many of my diabetic patients, especially smokers, have terrible blood flow, which complicates the healing of these types of wounds.
Thankfully, this last month I have had many very successful, almost miraculous, outcomes which have not resulted in amputations of toe or foot. Many patients have thanked me and I wish to sincerely thank them. I love patients and though treating wounds can be challenging, the excellent and happy outcomes make it worth the effort.