Newsletter November 2023 – Diabetes and the foot

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Diabetes affects the whole body and if left uncontrolled for extended periods of time can result in long term complications.  Your feet are one area in which these complications may arise.

High blood glucose and high blood fats can lead to circulation problems, like blockage of arteries.  The smallest arteries in the body are found in the eyes, kidneys and feet.  Consequently, these are usually the first affected.  A decrease in blood supply will result in slower healing of cuts, abrasions and other injuries.  This can lead to an increased risk of infection and possibly gangrene and amputation.

Poorly managed diabetes can also lead to nerve damage.  This means decreased sensation in the feet, which causes a reduction in your ability to detect injuries.  Without feeling in your feet, it is easy for cuts, abrasions and fractures to go unnoticed.  If these injuries are left for an extended period, treatment can be very difficult or impossible.  Sometimes, this may also result in amputation.

It is important to understand that with proper regular care you can avoid long term complications in your feet.

A full podiatric diabetes assessment to be completed by your podiatrist is recommended at least yearly. This assessment is non-invasive and monitors blood flow and sensation in your feet. A full report is sent to your doctor and other relevant health professionals with assessment results.

Other ways to look after your feet:

  • is to check your feet daily – use a mirror if you need to, to check for skin irritations, infections, cuts or sores.  Seek help ASAP if you notice these changes
  • take care of your skin by washing, drying and moisturising your feet every day
  • make sure your nails are kept neat and tidy to prevent ingrown toenails
  • wear good footwear.  Footwear needs to fit properly and fasten correctly to secure your feet in your shoes

  Please call 5721 5100 to make an appointment for your annual diabetic check.

Podiatrist Lauren explains the importance of a comprehensive foot assessment for people with diabetes.

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