Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You may have heard about people who have lost a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, and you may be concerned this will happen to you. The good news is that by taking care of your feet you can do to lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems.
How does Diabetes effect feet?
Over time, diabetes can cause nerve damage in your feet. This may start as tingling and pain, but eventually you may lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not be able to feel if the ground is too hot, or if there is a stone in your sock. This can lead to blisters, cuts and ulcers, which can become infected.
Diabetes also affects circulation, reducing the amount of blood flowing to your legs and feet. This means if you do get an infection or an ulcer it can take much longer to heal. In severe cases this infection does not heal, or lead to gangrene. A severe infection may spread to the rest of your body. To prevent this an amputation of a toe, foot, or part of your leg, may be needed to save your life. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and amputations.
Nerve damage from diabetes can sometimes also result in changes in the shape of your feet. A condition called Charcot’s foot starts with redness, warmth, and swelling in the foot. Later, bones the feet can move or break, which can change the same of your feet.
Why is it important to see a Podiatrist if you have Diabetes?
Visiting a Podiatrist regularly can help prevent ulcers, infections and amputations.
If you have an ulcer or infection, our expert Podiatrists will work to treat your skin condition and provide you with the highest-quality preventative care. They can also carefully trim your nails and file away hard, cracked skin from your feet.
If you are suffering from Foot or Leg pain our experienced Podiatrists will complete a comprehensive assessment of your biomechanical issue and develop an effective treatment plan that works to resolve it.
I don’t have foot pain or ulcers - do I still need to see a Podiatrist?
Even if you’re not currently experiencing any issues with your feet, we recommend an annual Foot Health Check to all of our clients. Similar to regular dental and eye checks, this appointment is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.
During this appointment your expert Podiatrists complete a comprehensive diabetic assessment, which includes checking the feeling and circulation in your feet. They then carefully examine the skin and nails for ulcers and infection.
Your Podiatrist will watch you walk and use cutting-edge technology to identify high pressure areas in your feet which may be at risk of future ulceration. They will recommend ways to disperse pressure evenly across the foot, including the best shoes for your foot type.
They also provide advice that helps you improve and maintain the health of your feet, including the best ways to check and care for your feet on a daily basis at home.