At Footmed Foot and Ankle Clinics, we provide a wide range of services for patients with diabetes. Our professionals assist with diabetic foot exams, diabetic foot ulcers and general foot care and maintenance. We welcome patients in Adelaide, Elizabeth Vale and Murray Bridge.
Foot problems with diabetes
Foot problems are common in people with diabetes. You might be afraid you’ll lose a toe, foot, or leg to diabetes, or know someone who has, but you can lower your chances of having diabetes-related foot problems by taking care of your feet every day. Managing your blood sugar can also help keep your feet healthy.
Poorly controlled diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. When you lose feeling in your feet, you are not able to identify any injury, minor or otherwise. For example if you walk barefoot and step on a sharp tack or you get a blister on your foot from rubbing in a shoe. Cuts and sores can become infected.
Lowered blood flow and diabetic foot ulcers
Diabetes also can lower the amount of blood flow to your feet. Not having enough blood flowing to your legs and feet can make it hard for a sore or an infection to heal. Sometimes, a bad infection never heals and leads to gangrene. Gangrene and foot ulcers that do not get better with treatment can lead to an amputation of your toe, foot, or part of your leg. Good foot care is very important to prevent serious infections and gangrene.
Although rare, nerve damage from diabetes can lead to changes in the shape of your feet, such as Charcot’s foot. Charcot’s foot may start with redness, warmth, and swelling. Later, bones in your feet and toes can shift or break, which can cause your feet to have an odd shape, such as a ‘rocker bottom’.
What can I do to keep my feet healthy?
Work with your health care team to make a diabetes self-care plan, which is an action plan for how you will manage your diabetes. Your plan should include foot care with a podiatrist, and other specialists may be part of your health care team as well. At least once a year get a thorough foot exam, including a check of the feeling and pulses in your feet. Podiatrists at Footmed Foot and Ankle Clinics will examine your feet to determine your risk profile for foot complications. A prevention and/or treatment plan based on your specific needs can then be made with confidence.