Life's Too Short... so make the most of it! Try something new, eat something healthy, grow something beautiful, hug someone you love, move around a lot, and be kind to yourself. Melanie Cole, MS brings you the best tips from lifestyle and fitness experts to the best and brightest medical professionals.

Diabetic Nerve Damage: Reducing Amputation Risk

From the Show: Life's Too Short
Summary: Foot wounds for diabetics are dangerous. Learn how to reduce amputation risk.
Air Date: 1/31/17
Duration: 10:12
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Andrew Applewhite, MD
Dr. Andrew ApplewhiteAndrew J. Applewhite, MD, CWSP, is a certified wound specialist on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas (Baylor Dallas), and medical director of the hospital's Comprehensive Wound Care Center.

In this role, Dr. Applewhite leads the multidisciplinary team at the center, providing specialized care for patients with chronic, non-healing wounds.

Diabetic patients are at risk of foot ulcers, which are open wounds on the foot that don't heal, even after time.

Something as simple as a cut or scratch can become an ulcer. This is risky for diabetics, because many have already lost feeling in the area where the injury occurs. A diabetic foot ulcer may go unnoticed until blood appears in socks or shoes.

Unfortunately, 26 percent of diabetics with foot wounds require limb amputation. 

Amputation Prevention

  • Daily inspection of feet using a mirror as necessary.
  • Proper footwear; don’t go barefoot.
  • Address cuts and wounds immediately, no matter how small.
  • Keep sugar consumption down.
  • Avoid nicotine.

Wound Treatment

  • Eliminate unneccessary pressure.
  • Use antibiotic ointment and a clean bandage.
  • Alert primary care physician or podiatrist.

Foot wounds for diabetics should be inspected by a doctor once per week or every other week. A wound should be 50 percent healed in four weeks. It may need more advanced therapy if not healing at this rate.

Listen as Dr. Andrew Applewhite joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share the importance of early treatment of diabetic foot ulcers.

Audio / Radio Segments