Diabetics Foot Problems: Podiatry Foot Care, Management and Treatment
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where you experience high levels of sugar in the blood because the body is either unable to respond to it properly or does not produce enough.
People who experience Diabetes - have an increased risk of having severe foot problems.
This is due to the impact of high sugar levels on your feet.
These potential foot problems are relevant to people who suffer from both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
How does Diabetes affect your Feet?
Your feet need blood flow to keep them healthy.
They also have a nervous system, that is there to warn the body that something is wrong and needs attending to.
For instance, if you have a sore blister on your foot, your nerves will send a message to your brain, to investigate what is happening.
Long-term Diabetes may lead to damaged nerves and poor circulation...
...this means you may not be receiving messages about your foot injuries, to alert you that they need treatment, causing further damage.
And your body is unable to naturally repair damaged tissues, due to restricted blood flow to your feet.
Typically these effects of diabetes are first noticed in your feet before they affect other areas of the body.
Being unable to detect foot injuries like simple blisters or bunions can cause major problems left unattended.
These include the potential for wound infection, which in the very worst scenarios can precede the requirement for amputation.
How Diabetics can avoid foot problems
A regular (every 6 months) foot assessment with your Podiatrist will assist in discovering any foot problems you may not have noticed early before they become a major issue.
During the foot assessment, your Podiatrist will feel your foot pulses to observe your circulation.
They will also test the ‘feeling’ in your feet by looking at your reflexes, vibration and pressure sensitivity.
Full physical inspections will be carried out to examine for potential future foot problems.
Your Podiatrist will also show you how to manage your feet, in between consultations, and provide you with advice on appropriate footwear.
If you have a GP referral for your Diabetes, you may be able to qualify for rebates through Medicare.
It is important to remember that Diabetes may lead to many common foot problems like abrasions, blisters, ingrown toenails and calluses to go undetected.
Poor circulation can reduce the bodies ability to heal your foot problems.
Therefore you need to be extremely vigilant with your feet and remember:
- Defend your feet from injury where possible.
- Examine your feet every day, for potentially unnoticed problems
- Have a Regular Appointment with your Podiatrist for a professional foot assessment.