What you need to know about Diabetes and your feet
We see many clients every day in the clinic who are living with diabetes. This prolific medical problem has an enormous capacity to cause significant problems with your feet and legs and consequently majorly affect your life.
The number of people worldwide diagnosed with Diabetes is estimated to increase to 380 million by the year 2025.
Foot ulcers will develop in 15-25% of these people over their lifetime.
Presently 1.5 million people have a lower limb or foot amputated due to diabetes each year.
That’s the equivalent of an amputation every 20 seconds worldwide.
The Australian Podiatry Council reports diabetic foot ulcers result in the use of 200,000 hospital beds, 4,300 amputations, and over 1,000 deaths at a cost to the Australian public healthcare system of $612.5 million each year.
So how do we turn these frightening statistics around?
Firstly it is important to understand how diabetes can put your feet at risk of these terrible complications and secondly, how to prevent them from occurring.
Why is Diabetes Dangerous to Feet?
Diabetes has the capacity to cause changes in the circulation, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and skin of the feet.
Two of the most important changes Diabetes causes is damage to the circulation and the nerves resulting in reduced blood flow and reduced feeling in the feet.
Poor Blood Flow and Diabetes
Reduced blood flow makes the skin unhealthy, causes delayed healing of cuts and scratches and increases the risk of infection once an injury occurs to the feet.
These changes increase the risk of diabetic foot ulcers developing.
Loss of Feeling With Diabetes
A loss of feeling in the feet means damage to the skin of the feet may not be felt. Pain can be an uncomfortable experience however it can also be a good thing.
If you tread on a something sharp the nerves in your feet should tell you when damage to the skin has occurred.
If you do not feel such damage you will not treat it and subsequently, may not be aware of it until a significant infection has occurred and a major problem has developed.
How to Take Care of Your Feet When You Have Diabetes
Every person with diabetes should follow a simple 6 step plan to prevent foot complications from occurring.
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Check your feet daily for un-noticed damage and treat cuts and scratches immediately,
- Keep your feet clean and well maintained
- Trim your nails correctly
- Wear correct fitting, activity appropriate shoes and
- Have your feet assessed and checked by a Podiatrist every 6 months
I'm so confident we can help you that I'd love to chat with you personally about how Diabetes can affect your feet, it's what I'm passionate about!
I'll be more than happy to explain how we can help keep your feet safe from the dangers of diabetes.
Contact us on 8330 0004 or send us a message on our website.
Yours in helping to build amazing lives from the feet up
Director of Complete Podiatry