Diabetes & Foot Health Checks: Why They are a NecessityOctober is foot health month! Feet are often stigmatised or plainly neglected, however if your feet aren't in an optimal condition, your quality of life can be greatly affected. Imagine not being able to do or go wherever you’d like! With over one million Australians diagnosed with Diabetes, and hundreds of thousands living undiagnosed, I thought I’d share on the effects that Diabetes has on the feet including the risks of foot complications that can develop without you even realising.
For those living with Diabetes, the condition can impair their circulation, rate of healing and predispose them to infections. Without adequate management or control, nerves can also become affected, resulting in numbness, burning or tingling through the feet. They may lose the sensation through their feet meaning they won’t realise they've cut or hurt their feet when they do - because they don’t feel it. If this progresses without proper care it can lead to infections and possibly amputations. While this may sound like a rare occurrence, Diabetes remains one of the leading causes of amputation in Australia with over 4,400 amputation each year because of it. I still remember my placement experience at Toowoomba Base Hospital where there were a lot of patients with ulcers and/or amputations to their toes, feet or legs. It is a very serious matter than many Australians continue to suffer from each day and it changes their lives forever.
This is why we encourage people to have a foot health assessment where we thoroughly assess their circulation, sensation through their nerves, their toenails and their skin. We provide foot education to keep feet in the best condition depending on the health of the feet and the extent to which they have been affected. Generally, this advice includes ways to protect as much sensation as possible. This can include giving moisture back to the skin if it is dry, checking over the feet daily to pick up on any changes or injuries, wearing shoes to protect the feet, controlling diabetes effectively, and ways to help follow the advice given by other practitioners such as doctors and dietitians. A report will be sent to your doctor to keep them informed on the status of your feet, what we’ve done to help and the plan going forward. Finally, we tidy up your nails and skin to not only leave your feet in a wonderful state but to minimise your risk of injury.
If you’ve got Diabetes and are worried about your feet, or are wanting your feet assessed so you can monitor progress and changes, give us a call! I’ll be happy to (and so will any of the team here at The Podiatrist!) go through all of your foot care needs, questions and concerns. Looking forward to meeting you!
About the Author
Daniel joined the team at The Podiatrist in January 2016.
Before joining The Podiatrist, he educated disadvantaged children about podiatry and general health with The Smith Family Group.
It is Daniel’s passion to be able to treat and care for patients, while continually learning and improving his professional and podiatric knowledge.
When not working, Daniel is playing basketball, swimming or watching all kinds of sport, especially basketball and American Football