Foot care amongst diabetics is incredibly important. As many as 1 out of 10 diabetes sufferers are affected by foot ulcers at some point during their lifetime with diabetes.
Over time, Diabetics may suffer from a condition called diabetic neuropathy. This condition usually presents as peripheral neuropathy affecting the sensory nerves in the lower limbs. If this occurs and your nervous system becomes even slightly damaged, the extremities (feet/hands) of the body can become numb. As a result of peripheral neuropathy, you may not be able to feel problems with your feet have developed at all and in some cases become limb and/or life threatening. People with diabetes are also at an increased risk of peripheral vascular disease.
Affects of Diabetes:
Because of sensory deficits, there are no protective symptoms guarding against pressure or trauma initiating the development of an ulcer. Pressures from walking/running may pass unnoticed.
Diabetic neuropathy may become further complicated by Charcot’s arthropathy with undetected pressures within the foot causing weakening of the bones resulting in internal fractures.
Motor fibre abnormalities lead to undue physical stress, with the development of further anatomical deformities (arched foot, clawing of toes) contributing to the development of infection sites.
Normal skin lubrication may be reduced with the feet becoming dry forming calluses, corns and cracks.
To complicate matters, the immune system may become damaged or reduced in function, resulting in longer healing times while allowing infections to quickly spread.
Detection and monitoring of diabetic neuropathy are an essential routine part of managing diabetes. As part of a diabetic review, our trained podiatrist's will examine your feet to detect risk factors for ulceration. If any concerns arise that we are unable to manage, we are able to efficiently communicate with appropiate health services eg. your GP or district nurse.
A Diabetes Review will include:
Testing of foot sensation using a 10g monofilament and tuning fork
Palpation of foot pulses or if needed a doppler assessment
Inspection of any foot deformity and footwear
Classification of foot risk