Adjusting Your Calorie Needs Post-Amputation – What to Know

Getting an amputation is a life experience that brings with it a whole series of changes and adjustments to accommodate the lack of a limb. It’s no surprise that adjusting to it can prove to be difficult for anyone who prefers living an active lifestyle. However, it’s important to know that your regular daily routine shouldn’t stop after amputation, even if a huge part of it consists of counting your calories.


Whether you’re a bodybuilder, someone who likes to examine what they eat, or you’re simply under strict dietary restrictions and standards, you may find it difficult to count your calories after an amputation. They can be affected heavily by the loss of a limb, especially if that limb had a lot of muscle. 


You should know that having a certain amount of muscle will cause you to burn more calories. So if a certain limb with muscle is amputated, chances are your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) will decrease after amputation. In order to manually calculate the amount of calories that you’ll have to consume to reach your fitness goals, you’ll have to decide what your ideal body weight and total TDEE after amputation will be.


Steps to follow

Although it might seem a bit too complicated, you can actually adjust your caloric needs after amputation in a few simple steps:


STEP 1: Calculate your target body weight before the amputation

For men: The standard equation for calculating your ideal body weight is 106 pounds (for the first five feet of your height) plus 6 pounds for every inch above 5 feet (or minus 6 for every inch below). To illustrate, the ideal weight of a man who is 5 feet and 8 inches tall is 146 pounds.

For women: On the other hand, women should use 100 pounds for the first 5 feet, and then add 5 pounds for every inch above five feet (or deduct 5 pounds for every inch below 5 feet, inversely).

STEP 2: Determine the total amount of weight you lost after the amputation

You’ll have to refer to any medical records you had pre-amputation for your starting weight and weigh yourself after amputation. Subtract the former from the latter to get the total amount of weight that you lost. After getting the total amount of weight lost, divide your lost weight by your pre-amputation weight to get the total percentage.


STEP 3: Calculate your remaining body weight

With the amount of weight lost in percentage, subtract your post-amputation weight loss from 100 to get the total amount of weight that you have left.


STEP 4: Calculate your ideal body weight post-amputation

Once you’ve got the remaining percentage of body weight, convert that into decimal form and multiply it by your ideal body weight pre-amputation in order to get your ideal post-amputation weight.


STEP 5: Determine your Physical Activity coefficient based on your activity level

For men aged 19 and older: Your PA values are 1.0 if you have a sedentary lifestyle, 1.11 if you are slightly or lowly-active, 1.25 if you’re active, and 1.48 if you’re very active

For women aged 19 and older: The PA values you’ll have to follow are 1.0 if you’re sedentary, 1.12 if you’re low active, 1.27 if you have an active lifestyle, and 1.45 if you’re very active.


STEP 6: Calculate how many calories you’ll need to consumer to reach your goal

For men: The equation is as follows: 662 – (9.53 x age in years) + PA x [(15.91 x weight in kilograms) + (539.6 x height in meters)]

For women: The equation is as follows: 354 – (6.91 x age in years) + PA x [(9.36 x weight in kilograms) + (726 x height in meters)]

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

How to Prevent Diabetic Limb Loss and Protect Your Feet – Our Guide

People who suffer from diabetes are vulnerable to a trifecta of trouble that can set the stage for amputations. Increasing numbness in the feet due to nerve damage, particularly diabetic neuropathy, can lead to foot ulcers as people may fail to notice any injuries inflicted. When the wounds are left unattended and fail to heal, it can then take a turn for the worse and lead to severe infections that may require diabetic amputations. 

Fortunately, the number of lower limb amputations have decreased to 50% in the past 20 years, though they remain an ever-present problem as approximately 89,000 diabetic patients in the United States still undergo limb loss as of 2019. 


What is Diabetic Neuropathy?

This describes the nerve damage that occurs as a result of high sugar levels, primarily affecting the feet, legs, and arms. This means that sensation is significantly reduced, leading to unnoticed injuries that can turn into ulcers or infections. Also, diabetes prevents injuries from healing entirely due to the reduced blood flow of diabetic patients. If left unattended, it can cause further complications with the tissue and cause the injured area to deteriorate, which may result in the need for amputation. 

However, if the diabetic neuropathy is caught early, the symptoms can be managed, and you can prevent worst-case scenarios like an amputation. To that end, prevention is always better than cure, and the tips below should help you take proper care of your lower limbs to avoid any devastating mishaps in the future.


Tip #1: Inspect your feet daily

Take the time to regularly and carefully check your feet for blisters, cuts, cracks, sores, redness, tenderness, or swelling. If you find any calluses, corns, bunions, or warts forming, avoid removing them by yourself or adding any chemical removers. Instead, be sure to visit your doctor or a foot specialist as they will know how to properly remove any of these lesions without causing any lasting damages that can trigger your diabetic neuropathy. Also, if you are unable to reach your feet, opt to use a hand mirror to check the soles of your feet properly. Furthermore, if you need to cut your nails, be sure to be cautious and cut it straight across. However, it is better to ask a caregiver to do so, especially when you already have numbness in your feet. 


Tip #2: Avoid smoking at all costs

Nicotine and the harsh chemicals included in tobacco impairs blood circulation and reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This can worsen the state of your wounds and promote poor healing.


Tip #3: Don’t go barefoot

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people get injured just by walking around the house barefoot. Make sure to protect the bottom of your feet using soft slippers or at least some clean, dry socks that can help cushion your feet.


Tip #4: Schedule regular foot checkups

Even if you’ve managed to avoid any apparent injuries at home successfully, you need to stay vigilant and ensure that you schedule for regular foot checkups with your doctor or podiatrist. After all, these professionals have trained eyes to see for early signs of nerve damage, poor circulation, and other foot problems beyond your control at home. 

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!


How to Stay Healthy as a Amputee – Our Guide

Everyone needs to eat healthy, by consuming protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a modest amount of fats. Besides, adequate nutrition provides persons with an amputation a powerful emotional and mental boost they need to keep on living despite living through a difficult circumstance. While the nutritional needs of a person before and after amputation does not differ overall, there are slight yet essential differences in their nutrition strategy to maintain their wellbeing.


Weight gain

Amputees tend to gain weight more easily because they engage in less physical activity given their mobility challenges. If an amputee has no one with them to assist in buying ingredients for a healthy meal, shopping for food becomes a less practical option. Instead, they’ll choose to order fast food that could be delivered to their doorsteps in minutes. Depression can also lead them to overeat, which in turn contributes to weight gain. Side effects of medication that amputees consume as well as difficulties in adjusting to a new lifestyle can all cause weight gain.


Effects of weight gain on amputees

Additional weight can add stress on your prosthetics and reduce its comfort around the knees or joints. This would further discourage any exercise such as walking, which would further contribute to weight gain and prosthetics pain in an endless feedback cycle. Weight gain would also affect the amputee’s emotional outlook and self-esteem. Thus, they need to have their weight checked and managed by having a proper and balanced diet.


Meal plans for amputees

To ensure that you eat well and have well-chosen foods for each day, you and your loved ones will need to have a meal plan prepared. Having a meal plan ensures that you get the nutrition you need for each day while regulating the number of calories, cholesterol, fats, and carbs that you consume. Among the essential steps involved in the preparation and implementation of a meal plan include the following:


  • Draft a weekly menu that takes into consideration your calorie needs. The ingredients you buy and eat in a day will depend on this menu.
  • Foods rich in Vitamins C and E, protein, iron, and zinc should be given priority on your meal plan. These nutrients are essential in healing and tissue repair related to your amputation.
  • Schedule a day in your week where you can go grocery shopping for healthy and fresh ingredients.
  • Set aside a day of the week to prepare and pre-pack food rations for the whole week.
  • Strictly portion your food into fixed amounts to prevent overeating. Pre-packing your meals for the week helps ensure portioning is enforced.
  • Keep yourself well-hydrated at all times. Drinking plenty of water helps add to the feeling of fullness without the calories, fats, and carbs.


Professional intervention

Talk with a registered dietitian who can help you come up with a meal plan that would give you the nutrition without the added weight. They might also refer you to a specialist who can design your meal plan for you, as well as the set of exercises and activities you need to do to keep your weight within healthy levels. These specialists will prepare your meal plan and exercises strategy according to your physical characteristics, medical circumstances, and specific needs.

If your mental and emotional health is affecting your capacity to plan your meal, you would need to set an appointment with a psychologist as well. They can help you not only cope with the mental and emotional trauma from your amputation, but they can also help you modify your behaviour to adjust to a new lifestyle that requires you to stick to a strict routine, which is your meal plan. Mind-body-meditations and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are some of the techniques they can use to help you achieve your nutritional needs.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!

The Importance of Sock Management For Lost Limbs – Our Guide

After a successful amputation, there’s more in life that awaits you. It’s great to rise above the predicament. However, there’s many adjustments to do when you’ve experienced a limb loss. Taking one step at a time is essential, as you’ll soon progress into living a full, functional life.

One aspect that you should get used to is sock management. Sock management entails making use of prosthetic socks to control and improve the fit of your device to your body for optimum function and utmost comfort. Prosthetic socks are often added or removed to manage changes in limb volume.

In the next section, we’ll learn more about the importance of sock management, how sock management can be counter-intuitive, and how practice can make a difference for one to cope with a limb loss.


Importance of Sock Management

It’s essential to make use of socks when people with limb loss wear below-the-knee prostheses. Chances are they wear socks of different thickness. Ply is the term used to describe the thickness of a prosthetic sock. They come in different plys, which can be one-ply, three-ply, or five-ply. As an example, a five-ply sock is five times thicker than a one-ply sock. Also, it may mean that five one-ply socks are equivalent to a five-ply sock.

It’s worth knowing that a patient’s body fluid goes through the body and the legs swell up a little when taking off the knee prosthesis and lay on the bed. Now when the patient puts weight on the limb, the body fluid is being pushed up and down. This means that throughout the day, the residual limb shrinks. For this reason, how you make use of your prosthetic socks can somehow contribute to your weight-bearing, and device function, as well as your comfort.


Counter-Intuitive Sock Management

Sock management is counter-intuitive. It’s different when we make use of our socks than it is for limb-loss patients when they have to adjust the socks to fit their limbs and prostheses. When you’re wearing thick pair of socks, and they seem rather tight, chances are you may remove them and look for a less thick pair.

However, it’s different with limb loss. The residual limb is pressing deeper into the socket as pressure is applied to it since the limb is much smaller during the day. This is what makes the socket feels tighter. So the idea is to provide more layer which will serve as a buffer. Because of this, you might be adding another sock or opting for a sock with a higher ply.


Practice Sock Adjustments

As it is often said, practice makes perfect. As time goes by, you’ll eventually get used to your body rhythm. You will be more familiar with the patterns of your body and how your prosthesis fits throughout the day. Therefore, you can to listen more to the demands of your body and adjust the socks and device whenever necessary. Eventually, you’ll get used to using prosthetic socks and become better at sock management. As a result, you can walk better and experience comfort over time. Thanks to sock management and how it has greatly helped you in your journey to living a fuller, functional life amid your struggle!


Final Words

There’s more to consider about living a life with limb loss. Sock management is just one facet of the overall equation. However, it makes a difference to know how sock management can impact your device, residual limb, and overall function. In the end, you deserve a better, functional life amid your limb loss, and sock management can make a great deal of difference!

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!