Your doctor or nurse has told you that you are at a high risk of a foot attack. You shrug it off because a foot attack does not seem life threatening. However, a foot attack can cause major medical issues such as foot or leg amputation, or even death.

What is a Foot Attack?

A foot attack is an injury, sore or ulcer formed on the foot of someone with diabetes. As a result, this person has reduced feeling or reduced blood circulation in their foot or feet. These injuries may start out small, but due to lack of blood flow, they can turn into large open sores on the feet that need immediate medical attention. Often times, due to diabetic neuropathy (tag) the foot could be completely numb, leaving the patient with an open sore on their foot that they can’t even feel. If left untreated, there is a high risk of foot or leg amputation.

What put me at Risk for a Foot Attack?

Now that you know you are at high risk for a foot attack, the next step is to find out why. Your doctor or nurse may have warned you about your high risk due to one or more of the following:

  • You have lost feeling in your feet
  • The blood circulation to your lower extremities has been reduced
  • Your skin is hard, dry and flakey around your feet
  • You have had foot ulcers in the past
  • You have had part of your toes or feet amputated in the past

What can be done to prevent a Foot attack?

If you are at risk for a foot attack, you are not a lost cause. There are several ways to regain your circulation, heal your wounds and prevent an unnecessary amputation.

The first step is to know how to spot foot attack symptoms. You may be having a foot attack if you are experiencing redness and swelling in your feet or there is a break in the skin and there is discharge or oozing coming from the wound.

The second step is knowing what to do if you are experiencing these symptoms. First, contact your doctor immediately. If they are not available, and the wound does not get better within a day, go to your nearest after hours clinic.

Habitual prevention is also key to reducing your risk of a foot attack or amputation. Click here to read “Five Tips to Protect your Lower Extremities.”

Sources: National Library of Medicine, Diabetes UK