Diabetic foot care and education
Footcare is especially important in people with diabetes as it can increase the risk of diabetes related foot complications. Diabetes, particularly uncontrolled blood sugar levels, can lead to changes in circulation and delay the natural healing processes therefore increasing the risk of infection, ulcerations and amputations.
Diabetes may also lead to changes in the nerves and sensation in the feet called peripheral neuropathy. Nerve damage may affect how you feel pressure or pain and may lead to numbness in your toes or feet.
There are many varied symptoms of neuropathy (and not all related to diabetes) and it’s not just numbness. Other neuropathy symptoms can include cold feet, sharp pain, pins and needles, tingling, tightness in the legs, increased sensitivity, loss of balance and coordination, changes in skin (colour, temperature dryness).
The nervous system is comprised of three main types of nerves and these can all be affected:
- Sensory nerves provide feeling and sensation, like temperature, pain, vibration or touch
- Motor nerves control muscle movement
- Autonomic nerves control bodily functions like blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, bladder and sweat glands
Feet may be one of the first places to have diabetes-related symptoms which is why it is so important to monitor any changes in your feet. Caring for your feet with regular podiatry visits and thorough examination of the feet enables early detection of any changes. Good footcare practices and management can reduce the risk of potentially limb or life threatening complications.
It is recommended that all people with diabetes have their feet checked at least once per year, and sooner if problems or risk factors are present. If you have diabetes it is crucial to check your own feet every day when taking your shoes or socks off. If you notice wounds, scratches, redness, swelling or blisters, please see your podiatrist or GP.
What can you do to help manage your feet better if you have diabetes?
- Make sure your feet are clean and dry, including drying between your toes
- Moisturise your feet every day
- Check your feet every day for changes
- Keep your toenails trimmed correctly or have them managed by a podiatrist
- Wear well fitted socks and shoes
- See your podiatrist regularly – and if you notice any changes to your feet, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice from a podiatrist.
- Keep your blood glucose levels in your target range
- Avoid smoking and keep physically active
- Managing your diabetes can delay or prevent potential further complications altogether
- Maintain movement through gentle exercise or regular walking which has many benefits for the heart, the mind and the feet.
Why Choose Sanders Podiatry? Linden Park, Stirling or Mount Barker Clinics
Sanders Podiatry is dedicated to the complete care of your feet, making you comfortable, secure and stable on your feet throughout your life. We have a family friendly clinic and address foot concerns at any age and for any problem. We are a client-centred clinic with individualised treatment plans to treat your unique condition.
Our gentle and practical approach to your foot care is with your long term wellbeing in mind, we are here to help you as well as educate and inform you about your feet and their longevity.
We are widely connected to organisations and associations setting standards for excellent foot care around Australia, namely:
• The Australian Podiatry Council
• The Australian Podiatry Association
• Sports Medicine Australia
• The Australasian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine
• Physitrack certified exercise prescription
• Arthritis Aware
Call us to book an appointment:
Sanders Podiatry in Linden Park – 08 8379 1456
Sanders Podiatry in Stirling – 08 8339 3344
Sanders Podiatry in Mount Barker – 08 8370 1590