Diabetes and Podiatry
How does Diabetes affect my Feet ?
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that affects the body’s ability to utilise, process and distribute blood sugar. Having increased levels of blood sugar can over time affect a number of tissues in the body and in turn seriously affect our foot health. Firstly, long term or poorly controlled diabetes mellitus can result in a loss of sensation or fine level feeling in the feet and legs. As this feeling loss or neuropathy progresses, the risks of foot health complication amplify. Furthermore, diabetes will influence our blood vessels over a long period. It can affect the quality of blood flow to the feet and overall your ability to heal small skin abrasions or even exercise without pain. Excess sugar in the blood and surrounding tissues can also affect our ligaments, tendons and soft tissues of the body. The implication being that long term diabetics may notice changes in their foot shape, clawing of the lesser toes, and restrictions in their ability to move freely. These signs are easily visible to your podiatrist at all stages with proper assessment and inquiry.
What does a Diabetes foot assessment involve?
Diabetic podiatry aims to look closely at all of the signs that may be displayed by diabetes. Your diabetes podiatrist will assess your overall sensation, blood flow, soft tissue structures, take some of your diabetic history and identify your overall foot health. In doing so, your podiatrist will communicate with your general practitioner and identify a plan that works for you to help maintain your foot health and function. This typically involves an initial diabetes assessment on your first visit to establish your risk of foot complications. After this, it is usually recommended that regular podiatry visits be maintained to help monitor for any changes to your risk level or foot health. Long term, your podiatrist will recommend complete annual diabetes assessments in order to track your progress and pick up any changes early.
How does this benefit me?
Your podiatrist is a valuable tool in your overall health plan that can be integral in identifying the early signs of diabetic complication. Signs of diabetic change in the feet are often identifiable before changes become obvious throughout the rest of the body. In addition, your podiatrist can provide you with the information needed to reduce the risk of any foot health complication.
All podiatrists at Peninsula Foot Clinic have extensive training and experience in all aspects of the diabetic foot. If you have any concerns or are interested in having a diabetic foot health assessment, please call Peninsula Foot Clinic on 5982 0000.