Gangrene from a diabetic foot ulcer

A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore that develops on the feet of those with diabetes.

High blood sugar causes damage to the nerves and the blood vessels, particularly in the feet. The reduced sensation means the development of an ulcer is more likely, and the reduced blood supply means the ulcer is more likely to become infected. The infection is then likely to lead to further restricted blood supply which will in turn lead to gangrene.

If gangrene develops it may be necessary to amputate the affected limb to prevent the spread of infection and further damage.


Atherosclerosis is a serious condition that progresses and worsens over time. This is where the body’s arteries become blocked by fatty substances, such as cholesterol.

Those most at risk of developing this condition are smokers, those who are obese and those who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

People with this condition may go on to develop peripheral arterial disease, this occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries of the limbs.

In the most severe cases of peripheral arterial disease gangrene can set in, this may then require revascularisation (restoration or improvement of bloody supply) or amputation.

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