Diabetes is a disease that prevents the body from maintaining healthy levels of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a form of sugar, and it is the major source of energy in our blood. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can cause short term, or long-term complications.
Complications are the same for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and include heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness.
Diabetes And Your Feet
Podiatrists work with people with diabetes daily, and our primary focus is to treat your feet and give you appropriate advice so that you can reduce your chance of foot complications and/or amputation.
Diabetes affects your feet in two major ways;
- It damages the nerves, hence reducing the level of sensation in your feet
- It affects your circulation, hence delaying wound healing
These complications are more likely if you have had diabetes for a long time, your blood sugar levels have not been controlled (i.e. they are too high) for an extended period, if you smoke and if you are not active.
Signs of nerve damage in your feet can be simply be a change in sensation, pins and needles, tingling or a burning pain. As the nerve damage progresses, you may not be able to feel your feet as well as you could before, and might even feel as though you have something covering your foot when you do not.
We call nerve damage peripheral neuropathy, and we follow our clients with this complication of diabetes very carefully to prevent wounds before they progress to anything more serious, like ulceration, which can lead to amputation.
At Foot Right Podiatry, we take the prevention of foot complications relating to diabetes seriously. When you come to us for your initial consultation, we will thoroughly examine your feet, which will include checking your foot pulses and your level of nerve sensation. We then will assess your nail health, skin health and examine your foot structure as well as your footwear. By thoroughly examining all of these factors we can accurately determine your risk status for complications, and provide you with comprehensive advice according to our findings.
If you are unsure of your foot complication risk status, or have had diabetes for a long time and have never seen a Podiatrist, we recommend you make an appointment.
Never attempt to treat your feet yourself without advice from a Podiatrist or a GP! Small wounds that take a long time to heal are the pathway to ulceration and potentially amputation. If you have a query about your foot health status, please don't hesitate to contact us today.