What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to turn sugar into energy, leading to high amounts of sugar in the blood.
There are two types of Diabetes:
- Type 1: An auto immune disease, where the insulin producing cells in the pancreas are damaged, meaning insulin cannot be produced. This group of people require regular insulin injections.
- Type 2: The most common form of diabetes. This usually occurs due to a combination of hereditary and lifestyle factors.
Physical activity, weight and diet contribute to the risk of developing this.
How does Diabetes affect my feet?
Diabetes affects many organs and structures in the body. Diabetes can potentially decrease circulation, and affect nerve function.
Decreased circulation and blood supply to the feet is a problem, because injuries, trauma, blisters, and infections take longer to heal. This is because there is less blood going to the injured area, meaning our body can’t get enough nutrients and oxygen to heal the area.
Nerve damage can cause reduced feeling in your feet. This can affect our body’s protective sensation. For example, when we touch a hot plate, we immediately withdraw out hand because it hurts. However, with reduced nerve function, you can’t feel injuries, trauma or cuts easily. This is an issue because we can’t feel that we’ve been injured, and therefore, we don’t treat the problem. This means small injuries potentially get worse.
What would a Diabetic assessment involve at a Podiatrist?
Medical guidelines recommend an annual review by Podiatrists, to check your general foot status and identify any potential changes due to Diabetes. Our Podiatrists perform specialised diagnostic tests to assess your circulation using ultrasound, and also check how well your nerves are working.
The Podiatrist will be able to identify any problems or assist in creating a management plan to control foot health, and check the progress of your Diabetes.
At Ozfeet, a full Diabetic assessment is performed annually, on each of our Diabetic patients, with a full report sent to your GP.