What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition involving high blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas stops producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, and occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and the insulin produced is not effective, resulting in insulin resistance. Insulin is important in regulating blood glucose levels and, without it, blood glucose levels remain high.
Diabetes Can Affect Your Feet
Diabetes can affect your feet in various ways. Most commonly, prolonged and poorly controlled diabetes may result in impairments to the blood flow and nerves in your feet. These complications are increased with smoking and a sedentary lifestyle.
Impairment to Blood Flow
If your blood glucose levels are high or if you have had diabetes for a long period of time, the amount of blood reaching your feet may be reduced. Blood flow is important for healing and the prevention of infection. Poor blood flow may result in slow healing, higher rates of infection, cramping in your legs with walking, and cold feet.
Impairments to Nerves
Like blood supply, long-term diabetes and poor blood glucose control may result in damage to the nerves in your feet. Nerve function is important as the ability to feel your feet is necessary to allow you to feel any damage or injury. If you do not feel an injury to your feet, it is possible that the injury will become infected, ulcerate, and possibly require an amputation, especially when combined with poor blood flow.
How Can a Podiatrist Help?
Diabetes-related foot complications are a major area of special interest for our practice, and we have extensive experience and knowledge in this area. At Langmore Podiatry, we believe that ‘prevention is better than a cure’ and offer tailored maintenance and prevention programs for patients with diabetes.
Our podiatrists will help you understand how diabetes can affect your feet and then undertake a thorough assessment of the blood flow to your feet and your sensation. We will then discuss the results of the assessment with you to help you understand how to best keep your feet healthy. We will also work with you to show you how to monitor your own feet in between consultations.
It is never too early to begin getting diabetes foot assessments. If you have diabetes, call Langmore Podiatry in Berwick at 03 9707 1988 today for an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists. Located in the heart of Berwick, Langmore Podiatry is just a short drive from Narre Warren, Beaconsfield, Pakenham, and Cranbourne.