Diabetes mellitus is a common disease, but its growth is especially alarming. Diabetes is marked by the inability to manufacture or properly use insulin. It impairs the body’s ability to convert sugars, starches, and other foods into energy. The World Health Organization (WHO) expects the number of new diabetes cases to double in the next 25 years from 135 million to nearly 300 million. Much of this growth will occur in developing countries where aging, unhealthy diets, obesity, and sedentary lifestyles will contribute to the onset of the disease. In Malaysia, the incidence of diabetes has increased significantly, from 6.3 percent in 1986 to 14.6 percent in 1996.
Many complications are associated with diabetes. When small blood vessels undergo long-term damage, this damage manifests as complications to the eyes, heart, kidneys, legs, and feet. You can find more information in the Diabetic Foot FAQ section.
Unfortunately, we tend to pay very little attention to our feet, even though an alarming 25 percent of diabetic patients develop foot problems related to the disease. So besides ensuring adequate control of their diabetes, diabetics should pay special attention to their feet.
The main causes of foot complications include: