Diabetes Foot Care
When you have diabetes you need to take very good care of your feet every day. If you do this then you can prevent serious complications.
Your feet are at risk because diabetes can cause damage to the nerves and the blood supply. This damage is more likely if:
- You have had diabetes for a long time
- Your blood glucose levels have been too high for an extended period
- You smoke
- You are inactive.
Our podiatrist can carry out an easy and painless check on your feet to determine whether your feet are at risk of developing any serious problems.
Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include:
- Coldness of the legs
- A tingling, pins and needles sensation in the feet
- Burning pains in the legs and feet, usually more noticeable in bed at night.
These symptoms can result in a loss of sensation in the feet which increases the risk of accidental damage because you can’t feel any pain. An injury to the feet can develop into an ulcer on the bottom of a foot which can penetrate to the bone. This could lead to osteomyelitis and a chronic infection in the bones and joints. If an infection isn’t treated at the earliest signs, this could result in ulceration (an infected open sore) and eventually amputation (removal of a toe, foot or limb).
Poor blood glucose control can cause a reduced supply of blood to the feet. This makes people with diabetes more prone to infection following any injury that breaks the skin. Signs of poor blood supply include:
- Sharp leg cramps after walking short distances or up stairs
- Pain in the feet, even at rest (often in the early hours of the morning)
- Feet feeling cold
- Feet looking a reddish-blue color
- Cuts which are slow to heal