NATIONAL DIABETES WEEK RUNS FROM 14-20 JULY 2019!
Every day, almost 300 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes.
During this time, we want to remind everybody how important it is to look for early warning signs of diabetes and the serious damage this disease can cause if left undiagnosed and untreated.
In this article, I would like to focus on how diabetes can affect feet and how important it is to see a podiatrist for a regular check-up.
Did you know that feet are often the first place to show diabetic related symptoms?
These symptoms may include cold feet, numbness, leg pain after walking, pins and needles, changes in foot colour, nail changes, corns and calluses and cracked or dry skin.
People with diabetes should check their feet on a daily basis and follow several steps to protect their feet from serious complications. These important steps include keeping the feet clean and dry, moisturising daily, checking your feet for any changes, never going barefoot and wearing appropriate shoes.
If you have diabetes, it significantly increases your risk of developing complications that cause nerve damage or poor circulation.
Poor blood circulation can affect the blood supply to the feet and cuts and lesions may not heal. An early sign of poor circulation to the feet may be pain or cramps in the backs of your legs when walking.
Common reasons for circulation problems may be smoking, high blood fats or elevated blood glucose levels. Therefore, it is very important especially for people with diabetes, to control and keep their blood fat and blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible, avoid smoking and try to exercise daily.
With diabetes the nerves to the feet are the most likely to be affected as well. Damaged nerves, also called neuropathy, cause numbness or insensitivity in the feet. Some people may experience uncomfortable sensations such as burning, tingling or pain in their feet. Consequently, wounds, blisters or other injuries may not be felt and ulcers can develop without the patient even noticing.
To detect diabetic problems early and to prevent ulcers and other complications, it is important for all people with diabetes to have their feet checked at least once a year by a podiatrist.
At Free Your Feet Podiatry, we do a thorough diabetes foot check which includes a Doppler (blood flow study). Please call us on (02) 9680 3646 if you would like more information or if you would like to book an appointment for a Diabetic Neurovascular Foot Assessment.