Neuropathy & Diabetic Foot

IMPACT ON DIABETIC PATIENTS

Most of the 70+ million diabetic patients in India may be unaware of the looming threat of foot ulcers leading to amputation. High glucose in the blood can lead to peripheral neuropathy – damage of nerve cells and loss of sensation, especially on foot. Hidden injuries are not felt, do not heal, become ulcers, and if untreated lead to gangrene and require amputations – ranging from toe to entire leg. There are an estimated 2 lakh diabetic foot amputations in India every year, leading to disability and further aggravation of the diabetic condition.

According to WHO 2016 report, India has more than 10 million diabetic foot patients suffering from neuropathy and ulcers. The prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in diabetic patients ranges from 10-32 percent in various studies across India. These patients have a high incidence of developing foot ulcers. More than half of all diabetic foot ulcers become infected, requiring hospitalization, and 20 percent of such infections result in amputation. Of the total lower-limb amputations worldwide, 85 percent are due to diabetic foot ulcers [DFU]. Most of the study claimed that approximately 2 lakh legs are amputated every year in India due to Diabetic Foot Ulcers. The treatment is difficult and expensive [nearly $2000 in India], more so if not detected at an earlier stage. If the wound becomes complicated and amputated, the cost increases to more than ten times.