Annual Diabetic Foot Check
An Annual Diabetic Foot Check is an essential part of your diabetes healthcare plan and Katherine regularly monitors diabetic feet to assess any changes. Using specific tests to detect and monitor the early sign of any changes in the circulation and sensation of your feet, Katherine also provides any necessary treatment to any conditions or cuts.
If you have Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes it is essential to take special consideration of your feet. With fluctuating blood sugar levels, increased glucose in your bloodstream reduces circulation to your lower limbs and feet. This can lead to the slow healing of cuts and conditions on your feet and reduced sensitivity in your feet.
It is possible to prevent and delay changes to your feet through controlled blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, however it can be difficult to realise changes in your feet as many changes in a diabetic’s foot can be subtle and gradual - especially if you are experiencing reduced sensitivity in your feet.
You should book into see your podiatrist immediately should the following occur on your feet:
The skin on part or all of your foot starts becoming redder, bluer, paler, or blacker
You have a new swelling on your foot that’s blistering
You have a break in the skin or a discharge
We can subsequently provide a small progress report or a copy of our assessment and treatment to your GP or specialist diabetes consultant.
How can I monitor my own feet?
You can note these changes yourself by taking simple steps on a daily basis to monitor your feet:
Look carefully for any colour changes to the skin or minor abrasions as this could indicate reduced blood circulation to the lower limbs and feet.
All wounds should be washed and dressed with sterile dressing and you must consult your podiatrist if any skin wound doesn’t seem to be healing.
All footwear must be well fitted – any loss of sensation in the feet will mean you could be unaware of an ill-fitted shoe causing blistering.
If you find any corns or calluses they will need to be removed professionally by a podiatrist as self-treatment could cause the condition to worsen.
Cut your nails straight across and file gently. Ingrown nails should be treated by a podiatrist.
What can happen if I do not have an Annual Diabetic Foot Check?
Diabetes can affect the feet in a number of ways and without careful consideration your feet can start to experience slow wound healing and ulceration, in addition to the following:
Colour changes to the skin – due to deteriorating blood circulation to the feet and lower legs.
Slow healing of cuts.
Reduced ability to fight infection.
Peripheral neuropathy - loss of sensation in the feet which typically starts in the toes.
Toes starting to invert or ‘claw’
The bones in your feet are more susceptible to fracture.