Nearly a quarter of a million people suffer from diabetes in Norway. They have much to do to prevent heart attacks, stroke, eye and kidney damage. Many take up to eight drugs daily to prevent these injuries.
Should we bother them with further investigations? Yes, because one in four with diabetes has injuries to their foot nerve.
They reduced their legs. They feel bad where they put their legs and therefore become unstable. This increases the risk of falls, breaks and other injuries. And this increases the risk of diabetic foot ulcers caused, which take a long time to grow.
Diabetic foot ulcers are an indicator of a more complicated disease picture, which means an increased risk of death.
Double the risk of dying high
We studied the population in Nord-Trøndelag, and it seems that diabetics who have leg ulcers have a double risk of dying compared to the rest of the population, and about 40% more risk compared to diabetics without foot ulcers.
The challenge is that it is not possible to predict which diabetic patients have leg ulcers. It is therefore important to examine everyone, including the three quarters who do not have nerve damage and therefore do not have the same risk of foot problems.
When the nerve in the legs is damaged, people with diabetes do not notice that they are getting a stone in the shoe, or that a wound under the foot or a hot boiling bath.
As a result, it is about a thousand people with diabetes in Norway at all times, diabetic foot ulcer that takes a lot of time to grow. About three percent of people with diabetes experienced this. These lesions are often infected with resistant bacteria that require extensive antibiotic treatment for many weeks. In a period of growing opposition to antibiotics, even in Norway, this is a situation in which all means are avoided.
About five hundred amputations are performed each year by toes, feet and rests on the group of patients, because the wounds do not grow. The emotional and physical costs are high for patients and their families.
In addition, in isolation, the cuts and the many years are expensive to society. Foot problems due to diabetes are an important factor in the disease, which does not get the proper attention.
Must be examined at least once a year
To prevent this, people with diabetes must be allowed to check their feet at least once a year. There is every reason to ask why this is no longer practice in Norway.
The National Diabetes Guidelines of the National Board of Directors state that people with diabetes should have their feet tested every year. But it did not become routine. Our research shows that there are mainly men and people with cardiovascular diseases that fall outside of preventive foot surveys.
Who can do anything to help prevent foot ulcers, the number of amputations and the resulting mortality?
Apart from the annual survey of healthcare professionals, it is important that the tester also has his feet. Please use the bathroom floor mirror. Check for a stone in the shoe. In addition, collaboration with home nursing, photo therapists and orthopedic engineers (who match shoes and soles) is important.
Feeling sweating, strong legs, swollen legs can not be a sexy subject – but after a long time, our subjects deserve some attention. So – on the occasion of World Diabetes Day 14 November: Get your feet on the table! Ask your doctor to check your feet for an annual diabetes check!