It is recommended by Diabetes Australia that persons with diabetes should have at least an annual foot check-up. It doesn't matter if you are on Insulin injections or only diet controlled, get them checked by one of our Podiatrists at least annually or more regularly if recommended.
What effect does diabetes have on feet?
Diabetes can have two main effects on the feet.
- Nerve damage
- Blood Vessel damage
In extreme cases where wounds are not healing amputation may be required so it is extremely important to look after your feet especially if you have diabetes.
What sort of Signs and Symptoms can diabetes cause in the feet?
- Numbness / Pins and Needles
- Altered sensation in the feet
- Pain in the feet
- Burning feeling in the feet
- Cold feet
- Wounds that do not heal or take a long time to heal
- Increased probability of infection
- Trips and Falls
What can you do to minimise the effect of diabetes on your feet?
- Maintain good stable blood sugar levels
- Maintain blood circulation and general health by exercising regularly
- Inspect your feet daily - they can't warn you if they are being damaged
- Wear correctly fitted footwear appropriate for your activity
- Check shoes regularly for foreign objects, defective lining or anything that may damage your feet
- Don't expose your feet to the extremes of hot or cold (turn the electric blanket off!)
- DON'T smoke!
- Moisturise your feet daily
- Follow general foot hygiene practices ie wash daily in warm water, pat dry
- Dress any wounds and seek medical advice if they are not healing
- NEVER use "corn cures" as they contain acid and may ulcerate the skin
- Have an annaul foot check up by a Podiatrist - know if you are "high risk" or "low risk"
What is checked at a Diabetic Foot Check-up?
- Foot Pulses (circulation in your feet)
- Sensation in your feet using various tools such monofilaments and tuning forks
- Your Ankle / Brachial Index (if required)
- If you need treatment for any other general foot problems such as wounds, corns/callus or infections
- Assess if you need pressure relief devices such as padding / insoles to help prevent pain / ulceration
- Your footwear and general diabetic foot care advice
- Give you advice on what to do between appointments to look after your own feet
- Advise when your next check-up is due (At Irymple Foot Clinic we can send SMS reminders)