Diabetes

Diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is a common syndrome in which blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. Blood sugar levels are regulated by the release of the hormone insulin. People who suffer from diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin, or the body is resistant to the effects of insulin.

Diabetics have an increased risk of ulcers and damage to their feet so regular diabetic podiatry is important to overall health and wellbeing. Simple foot problems can escalate very quickly into more serious issues, so it is vital to get any problems checked out immediately.

People with diabetes need to take extra care of their feet and should have them checked by a HCPC registered Podiatrist/Chiropodist every 6 to 12 months because of the potential risks.

Symptoms

  • Tingling buzzing sensation in feet often worse at night
  • Muscle pain similar to cramp
  • Red and warm swollen feet
  • Loss of sensation
  • Clawed toes
  • Change in foot type

Causes

The blood supply to your feet can be affected by the high blood sugar levels. It also means that should you get any cuts or injuries to your feet they can take much longer to heal putting you at a higher risk of getting an infection. The nerves to your feet can also be affected by the high blood sugar levels. The nerves are what alert you to problems, such as pain, pressure, temperature and foot position. If you are unable to feel these things you could encounter problems as you are often not even aware that there is a problem.

Treatment

A regular appointment with a podiatrist will enable them to assess your feet and prevent any future problems. This will mean that you can get expert advice about how to look after your feet and prevent any problems from getting worse.

A 30 minute Diabetic Assessment to assess vascular status, neurological status, autonomic screening, structural examination, footwear and care plan advice will be given during this appointment. This information will enable the podiatrist to assess your risk status and your GP will be informed of the results.