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Diabetes is a condition where your body can no longer regulate its own glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. There are two main ways this can affect your feet; circulation problems and nerve damage. The two prominent conditions caused by diabetes include peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy. Here at Doncaster Foot Clinic, we can perform a risk assessment and analyse how much foot care is needed, before implementing a treatment plan.

If untreated, severe infections and complications can lead to amputations. The risk of ulceration is increased amongst diabetics, so it’s important to be seen as soon as possible to decrease the severity of diabetic foot ulcers.

Signs and Symptoms

Poorly controlled blood sugar levels in the blood affects the circulation in your feet. This happens when the smaller arteries in your feet begin to narrow so the blood supply to these regions becomes restricted. Slower wound healing occurs as a result of this and any cuts and grazes in your skin may not heal normally which can lead to more serious ulcers, sometimes amputations. Thankfully this is uncommon, but we recommend your vascular status is regularly assessed by a Podiatrist.

Poorly controlled blood sugar levels in the blood can also cause nerve damage in your feet and legs, this is known as peripheral neuropathy. This develops gradually after having the condition for many years and may reduce sensation in your feet. This may mean that you don’t feel pain from a cut, blister or a wound which can become highly infected if left unnoticed. This is why it is essential that you know that the nerves in your feet are functioning correctly and that you are aware of an injury, however small.

Patients with diabetes may lack oxygen being sent to their feet, which is caused by vascular disease. There is also an increased risk of common foot problems too, such as corns, hammertoes and ingrown toenails. In order to control the risk of foot problems, people with diabetes should attempt to control their blood sugar as much as possible, along with appropriate foot care.

Here at Doncaster Foot Clinic, our fully trained and experienced podiatrists are on hand to assess and treat all foot problems caused by diabetes. We can advise on the most effective treatment plans and can help ease the pain and discomfort caused by diabetes in the feet, and can advise on long term care.

Treatment

The type of treatment you receive depends on the problem you’re having. A podiatrist can conduct a foot examination to get to the bottom of any ailments you may be experiencing. For instance, if you’re suffering from corns, corrective shoes or insoles may be administered. Some conditions may only need antibiotics or creams to solve the issue, however, other serious conditions may need surgery.

Other foot problems can be eased with proper footwear and orthotics. If you suffer from conditions such as gangrene, you may need surgery. In serious cases, partial amputation may be needed. Our HCPC registered podiatrists here at Doncaster Foot Clinic are able to assist with diabetic foot assessment to provide you with the best course of action necessary.

To try and prevent these foot problems from occurring, try wearing comfortable footwear unless you need specialist shoes made. Also, try not to walk barefoot, even in your own home. Always pay attention to your feet when taking or bath or shower, and apply lotion to dry areas. Make sure you check in for a diabetic foot assessment every so often.

Diabetic Foot Assessment

A diabetic foot assessment should be undertaken once every 6-12 months. A Podiatrist will accurately assess the sensation and circulation in your feet and will help further educate you on how to manage your condition. You’ll be asked to remove any footwear or socks, and your shoes may be checked to make sure they aren’t providing any discomfort.

You may be asked questions about your general foot health concerning any changes, wounds, pain or cramps. You may also be asked how you’re managing your diabetes overall.

If you would like to book an appointment for a diabetic foot assessment, feel free to contact one of our podiatrists on 01302 342971.

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Foot Problems Caused by Diabetes