Does Diabetes affect my feet?
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes effects our body's ability to maintain healthy levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Unhealthy levels of glucose in the blood can lead to health complications including issues with the heart and cadiovascular system, kidneys, vision and issues with the lower limb and feet.
Diabetes is a complex condition which can be broken down into 3 main types including;
All types of diabetes are complex and require daily care and management.
So how does this relate to Podiatry?
People with diabetes experience various foot problems including:
1. Reduced blood flow to the feet resulting in a decreased ability to heal from any sores.
2. Nerve damage causing pain, numbness and decreased sensation. This decreased sensation is particularly important as small cuts, blisters or abrahesions to the skin can go unoticed and quickly escalate into something much more serious like an infected ulcer if left untreated.
3. Ulcers are essentially wounds that occur on the foot. They can be caused by issues with blood supply and nerve innovation to the lower limb and feet. If left untreated, these ulcers can grow big and the risk of infection is high. Treatment is expensive and long-winded. In the worst cases, the effected limb could potentially be amputated.
4. Charcot Foot caused by underlying nerve damage can cause weakening and microfractures of the bones in the foot. These microfractures can eventually lead to foot deformitiy and major intervention required.
Can a Podiatrist help with my Diabetes?
A Podiatrist is an important member of any diabetic health care team. Podiatrists are specifically trained in diabetes foot care and can assess blood supply, nerve damage and identify specific foot health risks relevant to each patient, enabling up to format an effective treatment and prevention plan. Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body (espeacially the lower limb and feet). Diabetes requires daily self care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and can reduce life expectancy.
While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it with your health care team.
To book your diabetic foot check with one of our Podiatrists, phone (08) 8562 1700.