An estimated 280 Australians develop diabetes every day. The 2005 Australian AusDiab Follow-up Study (Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study) showed that 1.7 million Australians have diabetes but that up to half of the cases of type 2 diabetes remain undiagnosed. By 2031 it is estimated that 3.3 million Australians will have type 2 diabetes (Vos et al., 2004).

 

The long-term effects of elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) are damage to the eyes, heart, feet, kidneys, nerves and blood vessels.Symptoms of hyperglycemia may include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unexplained weight loss, tingling or numbness of the feet or hands, blurred vision, fatigue, slow-to-heal wounds and susceptibility to certain infections. People who have any of these symptoms and have not been tested for diabetes are putting themselves at considerable risk and should see a Doctor without delay.

 

 

Diabetes and Feet

 

 

  • Diabetes can causes nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy in the feet

  • Diabetes can affect the circulation in the feet, and poor circulation can affect how the body heals

  • People with diabetes are more prone to feet infections

  • Diabetic complications can lead to foot ulcers and amputation

  • Diabetes can affect the joints and make them stiffer

  • With regular check ups from your Podiatrist most of these foot problems can be prevented

 

 

The Role of Your Podiatrist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because diabetes is a systemic disease affecting many different parts of the body, ideal case management requires a team approach. The podiatrists, as an integral part of the treatment team, has documented success in the prevention of amputations. The key to amputation prevention in diabetic patients is early recognition and regular foot screenings, at least annually, from a podiatrist .In addition to these check ups, there are warning signs that you should be aware of so that they may be identified and called to the attention of the family Doctor or podiatrist. They include:

 

  • Skin color changes

  • Elevation in skin temperature

  • Swelling of the foot or ankle

  • Pain in the legs

  • Open sores on the feet that are slow to heal

  • Ingrown and fungal toenails

  • Bleeding corns and calluses

  • Dry cracks in the skin, especially around the heel

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​If You Have Diabetes Already . . . Do:

 

  • Wash feet daily.Using mild soap and lukewarm water, wash your feet in the mornings or before bed each evening.

  • Dry carefully with a soft towel, especially between the toes.

  • If the skin is dry, use a goods moisturising cream daily but avoid getting it between the toes.

  • Inspect feet and toes daily.Check your feet every day for cuts, bruises, sores or changes to the toenails, such as thickening or discolouration.

  • If age or other factors hamper self-inspection, ask someone to help you, or use a mirror.

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Baulkham Hills podiatry
castle hill podiatry