Every day, a limb is lost to diabetes in Australia. Those that have diabetes are more at risk of having foot problems. Due to diabetes, the feet can be affected in two ways. Firstly, it can affect the blood supply to the feet; this could reduce the rate at which your injury heals. Secondly, you may lose some sensation in your feet due to nerve damage.
This is where podiatrists can help. They are ankle and foot specialists who can help protect and take care of your feet. Regular visits to the podiatrist can help detect problems early and prevent complications.
Foot Problems Related to People with Diabetes
If you have diabetes, you are at a high risk to experience a number of foot problems, some of which include:
Neuropathy (nerve damage) usually affects the nerves in the feet. Diabetics can make it difficult for the body to interpret signals sent from the nerve to the brain, and this action can make you lose sensation in your limbs, especially your feet and legs.
Losing feeling in your limbs means you won’t feel pain when you have an injury, so you won’t notice the injury to care for it. If you don’t attend to this injury, it can be very dangerous, especially when you are diabetic. The signs of nerve damage to look out for include ulcers, numbness, sharp pains, and tingling sensations.
Poor Blood Circulation
People with diabetes are at an increased risk for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). PAD is a circulatory problem where blood vessels become narrow and reduce blood flow to the limbs. Since the arteries are now narrow, it will be difficult for blood to circulate through your body, which results in limited blood flow to your feet, making it harder for injuries to heal. Some of the signs of PAD include leg cramp, leg weakness, shiny skin on legs, leg pain, lower extremity sores, and changes in leg colour.
How Podiatrists Help Diabetes Patients
If you have diabetes, regularly visiting your podiatrist is important to carry out a complete foot examination. They are highly trained health professionals who constantly deal with identifying, treating, managing, and preventing foot problems. Besides, experienced podiatrists can often notice little signs of trouble with your foot and quickly treat them to prevent threatening complications.
When you have podiatrists as part of your care team, they can also educate you on what to look out for and take proper care of yourself at home. Moreover, your podiatrist can warn you about the day-to-day consequences of nerve damage. For instance, you may misinterpret the temperature of the water on your feet, which could lead to burns and scalding.
How Can We Help?
If you have additional questions about the relationship between podiatry and diabetes, contact Movement 101 for evaluation and discussion about your situation. Our podiatrists are licensed and trained to treat diabetes-related foot conditions. Regularly working with our podiatrist can significantly reduce your chances of ever requiring amputation. Make an appointment with us today.
Learn more about how our Podiatrists can help you.
Movement 101 Botany, Marrickville, Waterloo & Wolli Creek
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