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Having diabetes can put you at risk of developing other health concerns. Diabetes can effect your nerves and blood vessels, this can impact your ability to heal or cause decreased sensation in your feet. As feet are the furthest from your heart and nervous system, Podiatrist play an important role in checking your foot health. If we can detect any complications early on then we have the ability to intervein before any issue may arise.
The 2 main Diabetes related-complications we tend to see as podiatrist,
1. Nerve damage called ‘peripheral neuropathy’. Nerve damage may affect how you feel pressure or pain and may lead to numbness in your toes or feet.
2. Poor circulation in your feet called ‘peripheral vascular disease’. Changes to your circulation may delay your ability to heal any cuts or sores. This may also increase your risk of developing ulcers that may even lead to amputations.
What a Diabetes foot health check involves:
- Doppler ultrasound analysis of pulses in foot.
- Nerve sensation assessment.
- Assessment of skin and nails.
- Skin and Nail treatment.
- Recommendation of home care routine.
- Letter correspondance to General Practitioner.
What signs and symptoms should you look for:
- Cold feet, numbness
- Sharp pain in your leg after walking, pins and needles
- Any changes in foot colour, such as redder skin?
- Nail changes, corns, calluses, cracked or dry skin.
What can you do from home:
- Ensure you clean and dry, including drying between your toes
- Moisturise your feet every day
- Check your feet every day for changes
- Keep your toenails trimmed
- Wear enclosed footwear
- See your podiatrist regularly
How else can you look after your health:
- Try and keep your blood glucose levels in your target range
- Eat a healthy diet
- Keep physically active
- Avoid smoking
- Annual diabetes check up
We advice you seek urgent care if you have any signs of an infection, or your skin starts to breakdown – such as via an ulcer or a crack in your heels.
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