Last month, a Lokhandwala-based businessman shot himself in the head after being bedridden for more than six months on account of a gangrene on his foot.
According to city-based diabetologists, this condition, known as Diabetic Foot Syndrome, is an outcome of negligence and late intervention that has affected several diabetics in the past few years.
“A simple injury, bad footwear or even improper cutting of toe nails, if not detected and cured at an early stage, could lead to this condition,” said Dr Tushar Rege, surgeon, Diabetic Foot Clinic, Mahim.
“For diabetics, there are several non-specific symptoms that are not necessarily painful. Thus, patients walk on their wounds and ulcers without realising the potential hazards,” said Rege.
Diabetics can also develop neuropathy (damaged nerves) or peripheral vascular disease (blocked arteries) of the legs, which could lead to foot ulceration. Infection and foot ulceration, alone or in combination, could eventually lead to amputation.
“On account of the nature of the condition, diabetic foot could have a socio-economic impact on the patient and his family. Counselling plays an important role during the course of treatment. Amputation has a severe psychological impact on the patient,” said Rege, adding, “early intervention and regular blood sugar check-ups could prevent this condition.”