Gangrene is caused by lost blood supply to any tissue in the body. People with poor circulation (PVD or PAD) are susceptible to gangrene. Diabetics are particularly prone to gangrene because one of the secondary complications of diabetes is poor circulation. They typically also have nerve damage, which can lead to loss feeling in the legs and feet. With the loss of pain sensation it becomes difficult for diabetics to know they have a serious problem because it does not hurt.
Any sudden onset of foot or leg pain accompanied by lower skin temperature and skin color changes may indicate a blockage of blood flow to the legs and feet.
Gangrene is a serious condition, especially when it becomes infected. The infection can spread throughout the body and become live threatening. Gangrenous tissue must be surgically removed, followed by intravenous antibiotics to kill any infection. If you suspect gangrene, please seek immediate medical attention.