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Diabetes Mellitus and Foot Care

            Diabetes Mellitus is a disease which poses serious health problems to millions of people around the world. About 285 million adult cases of diabetes were reported worldwide by the International Diabetes Federation, and there is an estimated increase in the number of diabetic cases in the nearer future ( Fujiwara, Kishida, Terao, Takahara, Matsuhisa, Funahashi, Shimomura, Shimizu, 2011). According to the American Diabetes Association (2015), in 2012, 29.1 million of Americans suffered from Diabetes Mellitus of which about 8.1 million cases were undiagnosed. Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disease which is associated with glucose intolerance. The disease is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia and other disturbances of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. There are three different types of DM which includes; type 1 DM which results from insulin deficiency, type 2 DM which results from insulin resistance, and gestational diabetes which occurs during pregnancy (McCance, 2010). Chronic diabetic cases with poor glycemic control may result to diabetic complications known as Diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, and retinopathy. Diabetic neuropathy usually occurs due to sensory loss in the extremities, and is most often in the lower extremities. Peripheral neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease (PAD) results in sensory loss, possibly leading to traumatic injury, foot ulcers and possibly gangrene. These foot ulcers can become infected leading to cellulitis, and if not treated timely, sepsis and gangrene may occur usually requiring an amputation (Fujiwara et al, 2011). Considering the increasing number of diabetic cases in the United States of America, there is also an increased risk of diabetic ulcers and possible amputations if foot care is not properly done. According to the Lower Extremity Amputation Study Group, (2000), of the total number of amputations done in the United States, diabetes accounted for 25-90% of these amputations (Fujiwara et al, 2011).

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