Fifty-year-old artisan Manzoor Ahmad (name changed) is learning to walk all
over again. It has been six months since Manzoor’s right foot was amputated
after he developed a serious infection.
who has been suffering from diabetes for the last 15 years, developed a blister
on his right toe in May. Three months later, the blister took the shape of a
wound that refused to heal. “By the time I consulted a doctor, it was already
too late. My foot couldn’t be salvaged,” he said.
Ayaz Ahmad, 55, has been suffering from diabetes for the last 10 years. In May,
a thorn pierced his left foot while tending to the garden. Subsequently, he
developed a swelling followed by ulceration and necrosis (death and
degeneration of the tissue).
months on, I noticed foul- smelling discharge from the wound. This is when I
rushed to the doctor, who told me that the thorn was still inside the foot and
required wound debridement (a surgical process that carefully removes dead
tissue),” Ayaz said.
prevalence has increased significantly in the valley over the last one decade.
Health experts said disease is often diagnosed in patients after irreversible
complications such as retinopathy, kidney damage, heart disease or slow-healing
Nazir Palla, an endocrinologist at SMHS hospital, said individuals suffering
from diabetes are susceptible to neuropathy.
“It occurs when blood vessels supplying nerves
with oxygen and nutrients are damaged. Owing to which the individuals suffering
from diabetes are unable to feel pain. This translates into injuries being
undetected for prolonged periods, resulting in minor injuries and alterations becoming
gateways to potentially disabling infections, which may necessitate lower limb
amputation,” he said.
Palla stressed that prevention and early diagnosis are the way forward.”Proper
awareness can help in saving a limb’, he said.
Dr Hayat Bhat, an endocrinologist at SMHS
hospital, said diabetic patients in Kashmir are unaware of the gravity of the
diabetic foot problem. “The foot care in diabetics is of paramount importance
as it goes unnoticed leading to infections, which may require amputation and
even lead to death,” Dr Bhat said.
2018 study by Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar revealed that one out
of every ten residents of Srinagar aged over 20 years has insulin dependent
findings reveal that 22 percent of the Srinagar population suffers from
impaired fasting glucose (IFG), a condition also called pre-diabetes which
indicates a person would eventually land-up a diabetic if no medical
intervention is done immediately