Diabetes is a condition which can place a person at great risk of developing serious foot complications. If you are on medication for diabetes or have been diagnosed as diabetic, it is important to have a regular examination and assessment.
The main problems are caused by the systemic effect of diabetes on the lower limb:
- Decreased circulation to the feet: (reduced blood flow) The large arteries of the body can become narrower. If this occurs to the large arteries in the leg, less blood reaches the feet. This condition is called peripheral vascular disease. Reduced blood flow can lead to slower healing of wounds and cuts, and therefore an increased risk of infection.
- Decreased sensory nerve function in the feet: (reduced feeling in the feet) Diabetes can affect the peripheral nerves of the body, in particular the sensory nerves which are the feeling nerves. If the sensory nerves become damaged in the feet, this affects how a person can feel on the bottom of their feet. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy. If a person with peripheral neuropathy cuts the bottom of their foot, they may not feel this and continue to walk on the injured foot. The area can become more damaged and infected.
Surestep podiatry provides comprehensive treatment and monitoring of diabetic feet, and recommends that patients with diabetes should have regular checks of their feet.
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