Diabetes

There are an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.K with Diabetes and the number is steadily growing. 

Diabetes manifests with a high level of glucose in the body due to the pancreas not being able to produce enough insulin to turn all the ingested glucose into energy.

This sticky sugar clogs up capillaries and damages nerve endings. If uncontrolled, the sugar multiples, blocking the tiny peripheries to larger veins and arteries. Long term, this can potentially cause severe damage to the circulatory system, myocardium and brain blood vessels.

Diabetes and your feet.

Diabetes slowly blocks the peripheral veins and arteries in the feet, slowing blood flow. This impacts nutrients and prevents quick repair. Nerve endings are damaged thus any or trauma to the feet can potentially go unnoticed causing long standing damage and potentially infection. 

It is important that someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes checks their feet regularly, if not daily to prevent nicks and cuts from going un- noticed and treated. Cuts should be quickly cleaned and covered with a dressing to minimise infection. If you are unable to reach or see your feet properly, you need will need to seek regular help from a specialist such as a Foot Health practitioner.

Your foot specialist will carry out a diabetic foot assessment. Which can include:

  • History taking, noting the type of diabetes you suffer from and how it effects your day to day life

  • A vascular assessment – including pulses and doppler assessment

  • Sensory neuropathy screening

  • Skin and nail assessment and footwear appraisal.

Action treatment plan as discussed between you and your foot Health practitioner. This could include referrals to your G.P. or a diabetic specialist as required. 

Below are some signs of changes that will require prompt reporting to your Foot Health practitioner who will discuss an assessment, monitoring and treatment program with you.

  • tingling sensation or pins and needles (like numbness)

  • pain (burning)

  • a dull ache

  • shiny, smooth skin on your feet

  • hair loss on your legs and feet swollen feet

  • your feet don't sweat

  • wounds or sores that don’t heal

  • cramp in your calves when resting or walking.