Diabetes and Your Feet


Diabetes, if present long term or if glucose levels are poorly controlled can have significant negative implications on the health of your feet. Two of the most common effects include nerve damage and reduced blood supply to the feet.

Nerve damage can present in the feet and legs in several ways, including:

  • Numbness
  • Coldness
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Burning
  • Altered sensations

Nerve damage can result in loss of sensation which protects the feet from accidental damage occurring when you can’t feel pain. Without detection, a minor injury can develop into an ulcer, which could eventually penetrate to bone. This significantly increases the risk of bone infection and may require amputation to prevent blood poisoning.

Reduced blood supply to the feet and legs is another common risk of poorly controlled glucose levels with diabetes. Poor blood flow increases the risk of infection following any injury that breaks the skin. Signs of reduced bloody flow can be leg cramps after walking short distances, cold feet, reddish-blue coloured skin in the feet and legs, and cuts or skin abrasions that are slow to heal. Reduced blood flow also makes it difficult for the body to fight infection should it occur.

Your Podiatrist will perform assessments to check the health of your nerve supply and bloody flow and provide assistance in managing these risk factors if they are prevalent.

Diabetes Australia advises a yearly diabetic foot check to ensure early identification of any negative changes.

For further information or to book a Diabetic foot assessment with a Podiatrist, phone 02 5926 3806.

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