Multiple lifestyle changes can help keep your type 2 diabetes symptoms in check. Exercise, regular checkups and stress management are all essential. Diabetics also know that losing lower limbs and toes to amputation may happen. That’s because poorly controlled type 2 diabetes symptoms can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD). And diabetics taking controversial drug Invokana must be extra-vigilant about preventing PAD. Especially since a recent FDA announcement warns that Invokana more than doubles foot, toe and leg amputation risks for diabetics. Here are new products that offer promising ways to protect your feet and toes from side effects of Invokana.
How Side Effects of Invokana Lead to Lost Toes, Feet and Legs
PAD causes your veins to narrow, which reduces blood flow to your legs and feet. It can also cause nerve damage, which may prevent you from feeling pain. As a result, you may not notice when you get a new wound or ulcer on your feet. Putting pressure on the affected area may lead to infection (or help it spread and grow worse).
Once this happens, reduced blood flow to your feet and toes often prevents your wounds from healing. This can lead to tissue damage or gangrene, spreading infection down to the bone as well as other body parts. When an infection gets bad enough that it’s beyond repair, your doctor may need to amputate the affected body part. Because PAD typically occurs in your toes, feet and lower legs, these are the parts you’re most likely to lose.
Once gangrene sets in, amputation is the only option. Otherwise, you could die from it. However, new technology shows promise for helping prevent PAD in type 2 diabetics. While these tools may not work for everyone, they can help combat side effects of Invokana involving lower limb amputations.
5 New Ways to Combat Side Effects of Invokana Involving Lost Toes, Feet and Amputated Legs
Tool #1 to Combat Side Effects of Invokana: Siren Smart Socks
These diabetic socks include temperature sensors to help catch foot ulcers before they even fully develop. Each sock contains six sensors that transmit data directly to the wearer’s smartphone. When the socks sense any rise in temperature (more specifically, an isolated hot spot), the app alerts your phone.
This helps you in the battle against side effects of Invokana because one common foot injury response is inflammation. When inflammation occurs, it usually makes your skin feel a little bit hotter to the touch. But if the temperature change starts out very small, you might not even notice it yourself. But once the smart socks alert you, then you can treat your foot injury right away. Doing this can help prevent foot ulcers, which inevitably lead to more serious complications like PAD. You won’t feel these tiny, invisible sensors when you’re wearing the Siren smart socks, either. That’s because the sensors are embedded within the fabric, which you can launder safely using your washing machine and dryer.
Tool #2 to Combat Side Effects of Invokana: dermaPACE System Shock Wave Device
The FDA recently approved the dermaPACE® System to stimulate chronic foot ulcers, which can help wounds heal faster. It’s used on wound areas no larger than 16 square centimeters (about the same size as a soda can’s top). The dermaPACE can help heal diabetic ulcers that extend through the epidermis, tendon, or capsule, provided there’s no exposed bone.
This device sends energy pulses to stimulate the wound — the way it works is actually quite similar to sound waves. It’s an external system intended only to treat diabetic foot ulcers that persist for more than 30 days.
Thanks to promising clinical trial results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration quickly approved the dermaPACE through its 510(k) process. Despite this recent approval, the device isn’t technically on the market yet. However, type 2 diabetics and their doctors should get access to the device soon. If it works like clinical trials suggest, this device could help reverse ulcer damage that leads to diabetic foot amputations.
Tool #3 to Combat Side Effects of Invokana: Podimetrics Smart Mat
This mat, which an anesthesiology resident at an MIT hackathon thought up, detects early warning signs before foot ulcers form. The mat contains sensors that can detect even tiny temperature spikes around your feet as they happen.
Since these hot spots often form before ulcers, just stand on the Podimetrics Smart Mat for 20 seconds every day. Then, the mat transmits your measurements to a cloud-based server where it tracks and compares every reading. If the server suspects an ulcer might form, your physician gets an alert. Your physician can then examine and treat any potential injuries and prevent ulcers from forming. Since PAD causes nerve damage, many diabetics cannot feel painful wounds (like blisters) on their toes and feet. The Podimetrics Smart Mat, which is now in more than 500 homes, aims to feel those wounds for them.
And according to a recent paper, it really works. The mat detected 97% of incipient ulcers five weeks before doctors could even diagnose them on patients in their offices!
Tool #4 to Combat Side Effects of Invokana: ExpressGraft-C9T1
This technology is still in development, but may help heal chronic diabetic foot ulcers that already exist. Right now, scientists in Madison, WI are working to develop a wound-healing skin tissue. Essentially, ExpressGraft-C9T1 is a genetically engineered, antimicrobial human skin substitute currently in the clinical testing phase on enrolled diabetic subjects. British company Mallinckrodt’s Madison-based biomedical subsidiary, Stratatech, should conclude the product’s initial safety tests in May 2019.
If ExpressGraft shows promising results, it may become a viable solution for healing existing diabetic foot ulcer wounds. That’s especially promising since almost 1 in 4 diabetics will have at least one foot ulcer wound in their lifetime.
Tool #5 to Combat Side Effects of Invokana: SurroSense Rx® Smart Insole System
This smart insole and smartwatch system is designed to alert patients when it senses continuous plantar pressure for too long. This often occurs after walking or standing for prolonged periods. Too much walking can cause pressure sores where your feet rub. The watch also receives an alert from the insole sensors anytime an object enters the shoe, like a stone. If you’ve lost some sensation in your feet, you might not even realize the object’s there without this smart notification.
These gentle, regular reminders for you to shift positions or wiggle your toes can help prevent diabetic foot ulcers. While this product’s still pretty new, it shows promise for type 2 diabetics battling side effects of Invokana like neuropathy.
What Patients Injured by Side Effects of Invokana Can Do
One study shows amputation risks are eight times higher for diabetics than non-diabetics. Side effects of Invokana more than double that risk, making you far more likely to lose toes, legs and feet. If you took Invokana or Invokamet for 90 days and had a body part removed, you may qualify for compensation. To check your eligibility for a cash settlement from the manufacturer, fill out your free Invokana claim evaluation form today. You’ll see your evaluation results online in less than two minutes. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced lawyer will call to discuss your case and compensation options.
Related: FDA Issues Update About Invokana Amputation Risks
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.