Diabetes is the world’s fastest growing disease. It effects 1.7 million Australians. It is a chronic disease where insulin is no longer produced or no longer produced in sufficient qualities, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Many body systems can be affected- eyes, kidneys, the heart and the feet.
People can develop complications of the feet, specially poor circulation, loss of sensation and decreased resistance to infection. Diabetes and its effects can predispose you to many foot disorders including foot and leg ulcers, gangrene and amputations. Many of which are preventable with early intervention and care.
Podiatry can help preserve the health of your feet to keep you living an active and healthy life.
Damage to the small nerve endings can lead to neuropathy which causes the loss of sensation in the feet so you may be unable to detect injury (Peripheral Neuropathy). You may also experience numbness tingling or a burning sensation in the feet.
Diabetes may cause a reduction in blood supply to the feet which can cause cramping in the legs. This will delay healing and make people with diabetes more susceptible to infection following any cut or wounds in the skin, (Peripheral Vascular Disease - PVD).
Damage is more likely if you’ve had diabetes for a long time, blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period of time, you smoke, you are inactive people with diabetes require an annual foot assessment by a podiatrist, every 6-12 months for early detection of poor circulation and sensation loss in the feet.
Specialist assessment tools are used including Doppler’s pressure cuffs and tuning fork. The podiatrist will educate you of the risks people face and tips to decease your risk. Podiatrist can help monitor blood circulation, nerve supply, give diabetes education, footwear advice and general treatment.