Diabetes is a chronic disease where insulin is no longer produced or no longer produced in sufficient quantities, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. This can cause a number of complications in the feet most notably:
1) Damage to the small nerve endings in the feet (neuropathy):
Damage to the small nerve endings can lead to neuropathy which causes a loss of sensation in the feet so you may be unable to detect injury. You may also experience numbness, tingling or a burning sensation in the feet.
2) Damage to the blood supply to the feet:
A reduction in the blood supply to the feet can cause cramps in the legs. It will also delay healing and make people with diabetes more prone to infection following any cut or wound in the skin.
If you have diabetes it is important to see a podiatrist. Diabetics who have nerve damage, poor circulation, and neglect their feet are more likely to develop serious foot problems like ulcers, infections and risk amputation. It is recommended that people with diabetes should see a podiatrist for foot assessment at least every 12months.
Prevention of diabetic foot complications
- Protect feet from injury.
- Inspect feet daily
- See a podiatrist immediately if something is not healing or doesn’t look right.
- Have an annual diabetes foot assessment with a podiatrist to determine if feet are at risk.