A recent study conducted at Odense University Hospital (OUH) in Denmark that analyzed medical records from 1996 to 2011. The records depicted a recent decline in the number of diabetes-related amputations.
This is a huge step in the right direction for people with diabetes. Why? Because researchers are attributing this decline to an overall improvement in the treatment methods for the condition. They further posited that personal individuals are likely gaining a better understanding of the condition and how to manage it.
Diabetes is known to cause nerve damage, which often leads to diabetic neuropathy, as well as damage to blood vessels. Both of these symptoms lead to poor circulation in the limbs, specifically feet and hands. These complications can become severe enough that amputation is necessary.
Researchers at OUH posit that the improvement in vascular surgery techniques alone cannot account for the decline. Within the 15 years of medical records they analyzed, amputation procedures were performed equally on people with and without diabetes. Instead, they attribute the decline to improved care, including advancements in glucose regulating medication, improved screenings, and better disease management by individuals — such as making careful inspections of their hands and feet for ulcers and sores part of their daily routine.