The feet are often a lower priority when people are managing their diabetes. Diabetes is linked to various foot problems, and these foot problems can be prevented with the right awareness and management of foot health.
Diabetes affects the microvascular blood vessels (small vessels) which may lower the amount of blood flow to your feet. In addition, neuropathy can present in the feet, leading to numbness, pain or tingling, and even loss of feeling in part of the lower limb. When neuropathy is present, the reduced sensation in the feet may allow injuries to diabetic feet to go unnoticed and untreated.
Annual Diabetes Foot Check
Our Pivot podiatry assessment process will highlight the presence of Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Vascular Disease. These conditions benefit from monitoring and lifestyle modifications, as they have the potential to cause limb amputations. Amputations can be prevented if early detection and modifications are provided.
Daily Foot Check
- Check your feet daily for any changes to skin, toenails and foot shape.
- Keep feet and between your toes dry.
- Thoroughly clean your feet daily.
- Wear well fitting shoes to help keep feet injury free.
- Wearing socks to reduce any friction from your shoes and change socks regularly.
- Keeping toenails neat and trimmed.
Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes can lead to Diabetic foot ulcers.
A ‘foot ulcer’ involves a break in the skin of the feet. Any injuries to the feet may take longer to repair itself for diabetic people if they have high blood sugar levels, reduced blood flow to the feet and nerve damage to the feet. As a result of the slower repair for foot injuries, it may only take a minor injury to start a foot ulcer.
Pain and discomfort occur with foot ulcers, and there is a need for regular attention and redressing of the ulcer, helping to reduce the length of time for it to heal.
Your best course of action is to seek assistance from a Podiatrist or GP if you spot an ulcer or injury on your lower leg or feet. Your quick response ensures early treatment is received, and improves your chances of faster healing times.
Sadly, ulcers that advance with their size and infection can lead to amputation, to ensure the infection doesn’t spread.
It is important to get changes to your feet checked out as soon as you can. If you are experiencing any of the foot problems mentioned, make an appointment with our Podiatrist as soon as possible.