Since November is National Diabetes Month, let’s talk about your diabetic care team…
Every diabetic needs an all-encompassing care team as diabetes can potentially affect nearly every system in the body.
Members of the team may include: a primary care physician, endocrinologist, podiatrist, cardiologist, nephrologist, neurologist, ophthalmologist and, last but not least, a vascular surgeon.
Vascular Disease and Diabetes
Vascular surgeons are extremely important to have on your diabetic care team. Diabetics are frequently diagnosed with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). With the changes in blood chemistry and artery walls, their high levels of blood sugar can contribute to plaque buildup. Unfortunately, this causes poor circulation and blockages in the artery which can delay wound healing and lead to gangrene, a deadly infection.
Diabetics may also develop dangerous foot ulcers due to decrease in pain from nerve damage. Some ulcers go untreated for long periods of time making amputation a viable solution.
Patients with diabetes alone have an increased risk of limb amputation. Combined with PAD, that risk increases significantly. Amputation should always be the very last resort as it’s linked to a rise in five-year mortality rates.
The best ways to avoid amputation are to understand the risk factors and be proactive. Find a physician who closely monitors and manages your underlying conditions. Learn how to check for wounds that aren’t healing and keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Prior to any amputation, all diabetic patients should be evaluated by a vascular surgeon as there may be other ways to treat the affected limb.
Why Choose Vascular Associates of South Alabama to Be Part of Your Diabetic Care Team?
Our vascular physicians specialize in limb salvage and ulcer care specifically for diabetic patients with PAD. Vascular Associates of South Alabama takes a more proactive approach of managing your condition through healthy lifestyle changes, treatments and procedures.
Book an appointment today by calling 251-410-8272!
Main Office: 1551 Old Shell Road
Mobile, AL 36604
Hours: Mon - Fri 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM