Diabetes and Foot Care
When you are managing diabetes it is important to take extra good care of your feet. This is because, over time, diabetes may cause nerve damage, also called diabetic neuropathy, that can cause tingling and pain, and can make you lose feeling in your feet. Blood supply to feet can be hindered because of the vascular changes to the blood vessels.
When you lose feeling in your feet, you may not feel a pebble inside your sock or a blister on your foot, which can lead to cuts and sores. Cuts may become infected.
Check your feet every day.
You may have foot problems, but feel no pain in your feet. Checking your feet each day will help you spot problems early before they get worse. A good way to remember is to check your feet each evening when you take off your shoes. Check between your toes. If you have trouble bending over to see your feet, try using a mirror to see them, or ask someone else to look at your feet.
Look for problems such as
- cuts, sores, or red spots
- swelling or fluid-filled blisters
- ingrown toenails, in which the edge of your nail grows into your skin
- corns or calluses, which are spots of rough skin caused by too much rubbing or pressure on the same spot
- plantar warts, which are flesh-colored growths on the bottom of the feet
- athlete’s foot
- warm spots
Wear Shoes and Socks at all times.
Don't walk barefoot or in just socks – even when you are indoors. You could step on something and hurt your feet. You may not feel any pain and may not know that you hurt yourself.
Check the inside of your shoes before putting them on, to make sure the lining is smooth and free of pebbles or other objects.
Podiatrists recommend having a consultation every 8-12 weeks, as well as a thorough circulation and nerve test every six months to try and minimise possible difficulties and injuries.
Medicare may provide a rebate on podiatry fees if you have a referral from your doctor. You can find a podiatrist in your area here.