Diabetic Foot Care

Diabetic Foot Care 2018-02-16T22:10:53+00:00

Don’t Let Diabetes Knock You Off Your Feet!

Here’s the problem. It’s very common for a diabetic to start to feel some burning or tingling in the feet. This is the early signs of nerve damage known as Diabetic Neuropathy. At first it may not seem like a big deal but with time it can progress and eventually become very bothersome. Many patients describe not being able to relax or sleep because of the burning.

As it progresses it can actually become painful and eventually you can lose the feeling in your feet. Loss of feeling often means you may not feel a foot injury. You could have a tack or rock in your shoe and walk on it all day without knowing it. Often times it isn’t found out until it becomes infected.

This lack of feeling can lead to a Diabetic Ulcer which is an “open sore” that forms most often on the bottom of the foot. Because of the Diabetic Neuropathy, the ulcers don’t hurt.

It’s these Diabetic Ulcers that lead to amputation. It can start out by just amputation of a toe but it’s not uncommon for that to lead to amputation of a foot or leg.

We suspect that many people suffer from foot pain and write it off as normal. We’re here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case. Our podiatry clinic prides itself on being a pleasant environment whose goal is to provide the latest in podiatry care and treatment options for every foot and ankle problem.

Diabetic Foot Care from Runaway Bay Podiatry

Runaway Bay Podiatry Clinic has been treating and assessing diabetic feet for over 20 years. Foot care is particularly important for people with diabetes. Diabetics should have their feet checked by a Podiatrist at least once a year. This is important as early detection and treatment of poor blood flow  or nerve damage in the feet can prevent complications such as ulcers and gangrene from occurring.

Nerve Damage

Poor blood glucose control can cause nerve damage to feet. Symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • 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 infection of the bone (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).

See your podiatrist or doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Blood Supply

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 colour
  • Cuts which are slow to heal.

See your podiatrist or doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Diabetic Foot Care Tips from Runaway Bay Podiatry

In addition to regular checks ups with a podiatrist you should also:

  • Seek more information about how to care for your feet from a podiatrist
  • Have your feet checked at least once a year by your doctor or other health professional
  • Know your feet well – wash, dry and check your feet every day. Check for redness, swelling, cuts, pus discharge, splinters or blisters, being especially careful to look between toes, around heels and nail edges and at the soles of the feet. If you have difficulty with your vision get someone to check for you
  • Cut your toenails straight across – not into the corners – and gently file any sharp edges. If you can’t properly see or reach your feet to cut your toenails, ask someone to do it for you
  • Moisturise your feet daily to avoid dry skin
  • Never use over-the-counter corn cures
  • Cover your feet with a clean sock or stocking without rough seams
  • Don’t wear tight socks or stockings
  • Protect your feet in a shoe which fits well – the right length (a thumb width longer than your longest toe), width and depth – and has been checked for stones, pins, buttons or anything else which could cause damage
  • Keep your feet away from direct heat such as heaters, hot water bottles and electric blankets
  • Get medical advice early if you notice any change or problem

Rebates

  • Medicare may provide a rebate on podiatrists’ fees if you have a chronic condition and are referred by your doctor.
  • Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) gold card holders are entitled to free podiatry services from private podiatrists.
  • Private health funds cover some podiatry services.

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