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What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high. It occurs because the body’s method of converting glucose into energy is not working as it should. There are two common forms of diabetes: Type 1 - This usually affects children and young adults. People with this type of diabetes require daily insulin injections. Type 2 - This is by far the most common, and usually affects people over the age of 40 years. However, these days we can see it increasingly affecting children as childhood obesity increases. In early stages it may be controlled, with exercise and diet. If poorly controlled, treatment may progress to tablets and insulin injections.
How can diabetes affect your feet?
If your diabetes is poorly controlled for a long period of time, this can lead to poor blood flow to your feet and nerve damage (neuropathy) which can make your feet feel numb. Nerve damage may mean that you don’t feel the stone in your shoe, and this could then lead to an injury you can’t feel and a possible infection. If you have poor circulation, any injuries or infections to your feet (i.e. cuts, burns or scratches) will take longer to heal. Feet that cannot heal and have untreatable severe infection may require amputation.
Can you detect diabetes early?
A six monthly foot assessment at Advanced Podiatry Clinics will help to detect any changes early — before they become a problem.
During an assessment we will examine your circulation by feeling foot pulses and examine sensation by testing reflexes, vibration and pressure sensitivity. We will also look for general foot conditions that may lead to future problems, and work with you to show you how to monitor your own feet between consultations.
How can you prevent problems?
- Keep your blood sugar level at a normal level (6-7). This will help prevent circulation and sensation changes. - Schedule regular neurovascular assessments and Advanced Podiatry checks for corns, callus and nail care. - Protect your feet from injury. - Inspect your feet every day (your podiatrist can show you how). - See an Advanced Podiatrist immediately if something is not healing.
Can you help me with footwear advice and supply?
Advanced Podiatry can measure, supply and fit shoes especially designed for the diabetic foot. You can view the range in the clinic. The best type of footwear fits well and protects your feet. Wherever possible, wear shoes to avoid injury. Ensure your shoe is deep enough and broad enough.