In Australia, diabetes is the most common cause of non-traumatic amputation, with some 2,800 attributable annually. While diabetic-related foot disease is complex, when risk factors are identified early, and with appropriate management implemented, the risk of lower-limb amputation drops significantly. Amputation is preventable — and recent research has shown foot-health improvements in diabetics who regularly see a podiatrist for care.
Diabetes can have many short and long term health issues particularly for the feet. People with diabetes are more prone to infection, developing decreased blood flow and altered sensation. It is important to understand that theoretically, if diabetes is well controlled, it is possible to avoid these foot problems. Good control, however, is not always possible and hence diabetics have an increased risk of suffering foot problems. This risk can be minimised through education and good care of your feet.
As podiatrists, we carry out a foot assessment for diabetics by determining risk and treatment levels, ensuring no unnoticed problems exist — due to neuropathy or retinopathy, for instance — and then monitor for changes between assessments. Part of the podiatry services we provide also include wound management and diabetic ulcer care, along with education.
We provide all our diabetic patients with regular diabetic foot assessments. We inform you of when you are due for your next review to ensure continuity of care and avoid complications. We provide our patients with resource packages detailing how to care for your feet, footwear advice and how to access further information.
We also ensure we report back to your team of health care specialists regarding care plans to ensure continuity of care providing you with the best result. Our aim is to keep you on your feet.
How diabetes affects the feet:
- Decreased blood flow
- Altered nerve sensation
- Blisters and Callouses
- Ulcers and Sores
- Changes in Foot Structure