Diabetes: Regular foot checks can prevent lower-limb amputation


KUALA LUMPUR: Lower-limb amputations for diabetics can be prevented by doing regular foot checks, according to the National Heart Institute’s (IJN) Diabetes Clinic senior diabetes educator Siah Guan Jian.

“It takes only two minutes of your day to do a foot check. It involves a mirror, good lighting and if necessary, someone to do it for you, like your partner or your children.”

She said it was crucial to look for any form of blisters, cuts or wounds as these could potentially develop into foot ulcers.

“These problems can cause foot ulcers and infections, and at the very worst, may lead to amputations,” she told a public forum on ‘Diabetes and Your Feet’ at the Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) College here.

Siah said people with diabetes could come to her clinic at the IJN for a diabetic foot assessment, which included the ankle brachial index (ABI) test.

The ankle-brachial index test is done to check for peripheral vascular disease (PVD), a condition in which the arteries in the legs or arms are narrowed. Diabetes is one of the risk factors for PVD.

She said the clinic, which opens from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, also provided other services for people with diabetes.

“We also focus on helping diabetics to understand their disease and to assist them in adjusting their lifestyle and behaviour so that they can have the skills to successfully manage diabetes at home,” she said.