Diabetic complications are some of the most dreaded secondary conditions of chronic illness – with the potential to threaten lives, diabetics should make every effort possible to avoid them. Amputations are becoming the shocking new norm in southern California’s San Diego county. As doctors continue to book more and more surgical procedures to remove toes, feet, and even entire legs of some diabetic patients, the community is left wondering why, for the region’s diabetic sufferers, this serious complication is on the rise. Over the past several years, the number of San Diego county diabetics receiving amputations of their lower limbs has increased by staggering proportions. At an increase of more than 66%, the dramatic increase grips the population, and offers little insight as to why the traumatic procedure has begun trending.
Theories as to why the increase abounds run rampant. Public health officials are pointing the finger at the area’s current available diabetic care – making claims that current care options available to the county’s diabetic population are lacking the attentiveness and prioritization necessary for accurate diagnosis and treatment. Clinicians suspect the financial ability of the patients to pay for treatment may have prevented the region’s aging population from seeking treatment. They believe that proper treatment would prevent this complication, by addressing the signs before the disease progressed so severely, warranting the traumatic amputations. Others believe a circulating conspiracy theory that claims hospitals are ordering hasty amputations to recoup income and exploit insurance billing initiatives – and diabetics are appalled that they may have fallen victim to such mistreatment.
Regardless of the reason for the steady incline in amputations, it’s clear that there is a matter of public health that is not being adequately or appropriately addressed. A lack of education is evident as patients, often assuming a bystander approach to managing their health, are accepting quick-fix approaches to diabetes management as acceptable compromises to their quality of life and independence. As they buy in to the ideal that pills alone are an effective method for managing their disease, they neglect to prioritize lifestyle modifications that are essential to halt the progression of their disease and the inevitable complications that arise as a result – and it’s hard to watch. It’s clear that to reverse the upward trend of these preventable losses, patients are in need of guidance that will lead them on a journey towards a better status of total body health through diet and lifestyle modification coaching.
Support and guidance matter – and the diabetic community needs it now more than ever. Many diabetics are becoming tired of the side effects of their conventional treatments – they’re tired of the continuing of symptoms of their disease despite their labs showing that their sugars are well controlled and their turning to more holistic approaches to treatment, approaches that are achieving life-changing results.