Diabetes and the Foot
Definition: People with diabetes risk serious and disabling foot complications and even amputation. Recent research has shown that the risk for these complications is greatly reduced with good blood sugar levels. Podiatrist can give much help to feet in diabetes.
Diabetes may affect the feet in two ways. Firstly, the nerves which enable you to feel pain, temperature extremes and give early warning of possible trauma, are damaged. Secondly, the blood supply to the feet is diminished due to damage to the blood vessels.
Under these circumstances, even a minor foot problem of little significance to other people can be hazardous for people with diabetes. The importance of proper foot care in diabetes is widely recognised. It is recommended people with diabetes should be assessed by a podiatrist who will advise a common sense, daily care routine to reduce the risk of injuries and complications.
Treatment: Foot Health Tips...
* Maintain blood sugar levels within the range advised for you.
* Encourage good blood circulation by regular walking, wearing good walking shoes.
* Choose footwear which is appropriate for your activity.
* Make sure to have your feet measured properly by a trained fitter.
* Check your shoes regularly for excess wear on the outside and for any rough spots on the inner lining.
* Wash your feet daily in warm (not hot) water, using a mild soap, and then dry thoroughly with a gentle blotting action.
* Use a moisturiser daily to stop heels cracking and to help keep the skin supple.
* Inspect feet daily for any sign of heat, redness, swelling or pain, using a mirror if necessary. Seek immediate help from a Podiatrist or Doctor.
* Blisters, cuts and scratches should be cleansed at once with clean water or saline solution. Cover with a sterile dressing and seek advice from a Podiatrist or Doctor as soon as possible.
* "Corn cures" and medicated pads are caustic-based and can cause catastrophic foot problems. See your podiatrist for treatment of corns.
* Avoid extremes of heat and cold such as hot water bottles, radiators, hot sand/pathways and hot bath water.
HOW TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
It is important to discuss your mobility and footcare problems with your Podiatrist. Your Podiatrist can advise which service or professional support is most appropriate to your needs.
The Podiatrist, after assessing your foot function may recommend orthoses or insoles to help relieve foot pain and discomfort.