Diabetes and your feet
Do you have diabetes?
Have you been recently diagnosed with diabetes?
It is highly recommended by health professionals that you undergo a full diabetes foot examination every 6-12 months. This is a pain-free ease of mind examination which keeps your feet functional, pain free and healthy.
Diabetes does not have to affect your feet if you take good care of them. Our podiatrists at Feet 4 life will check your blood flow, nerve supply, biomechanics, footwear and dermatological lesions to assist you with a holistic and overall management plan to prevent unnecessary skin breakdowns and foot pain which may be associated with uncontrolled diabetes.
How can diabetes affect my feet?
Insulin is a hormone which is no longer working in people with diabetes. Insulin is like the ‘bus’ which drives the food we eat in to our muscles cells for storage. When insulin can no longer do its job, our food (or glucose) builds up in our arteries and prevents blood travelling to our feet. This is why it is important to check your blood sugar levels (BGL’s) on a regular basis.
A decrease in blood supply can have a range of consequences including a reduction in nerve sensation. Our nerves need nutrients to survive which they gain from our blood, therefore a reduction in blood supply often means a reduction in nerve sensation in our feet and legs. Increased blood sugar content also attracts bacteria as it is a nice breeding ground for infection.
The main ways diabetes can affect your feet includes:
- Blood flow reduction and reduced healing capacity
- Nerve sensation reduced in your feet and legs
- Altered walking pattern and falls risk
- Increased risk of infection
- Dry and thin skin
- Increased callosities (hard skin) and thickened nails
- Skin break down and ulcerations
A risk status will be obtained from our specific podiatry diabetes assessment results. Personalised treatment plans will be made to suit your feet and options may include:
- Footwear advice/recommendations for your foot type
- Nail care and callus reduction/removal
- Compression stocking prescription to safely assist swelling reduction in the ankles and feet
- Fungal nail assessment, treatment and advice
- Padding, toe protectors and pressure reduction
- Orthotics and medical grade footwear
Diabetes does not have to mean unhealthy feet and legs!