Diabetic Foot Care
Assessment, treatment and prevention of foot problems related to diabetes.
Do you suffer from diabetes? You may be at risk of serious foot problems as a result of the disease. But don't worry – in most cases, serious diabetic foot problems can be avoided with early detection and good foot care.
What foot problems are diabetics prone to?
Diabetes can cause damage to:
- Your nervous system
- Your blood circulation
As a result of nerve damage, your feet may not be able to feel properly. That means any 'warning signals' from your feet may go unnoticed. For example, if you have a stone in your shoe, you would normally feel pain or discomfort. With impaired sensation in your feet (neuropathy), the stone may go unnoticed and cause damage to your feet. The same is true of shoes that rub continually on your feet, or even using water that's too hot to wash your feet.
Reduced blood supply to your feet can also cause issues with healing. Bad circulation in your feet will mean any cuts or sores take longer to heal, and are therefore more prone to infection. If left untreated, infection can lead to foot ulcers and eventually gangrene, which can result in the need for amputation, and may be life-threatening.
How do I know if I suffer from diabetic foot problems?
If you have diabetes, you are at risk from diabetic foot problems such as foot ulcers. The best thing to do next is see your podiatrist for assessment and advice.
Speight's Podiatry specialises in diabetic foot care, and can provide you with a full diabetic foot assessment, which you should have regularly. This will identify how severe your risk of diabetic foot problems is, by assessing things like loss of sensation in your feet, blood flow and biomechanics.
What can I do about foot problems from diabetes?
Prevention is better than treatment, so you need to be fully aware of the early signs of problems, and treat them quickly. You should check your feet daily, and look for things like:
- Any sign of bruising or swelling
- Changes in shape
- Changes in temperature
Quite often, you will be able to treat these problems at home. But some problems, especially if left too long, will need professional treatment.
At Speight's Podiatry, we'll design a treatment plan that's tailored to your needs.
Experts in Diabetic Foot Care
Simon Speight is one of New Zealand's foremost experts in diabetic foot care. As the only podiatrist in NZ to be accepted onto a Masters programme with Brighton University in the UK, he is able to offer the very latest treatment methods and advice to diabetics.
Diabetic Foot Clinic, Brighton University
As a recognised expert in diabetic foot care, Simon has also been invited to provide podiatry services at Gisborne Hospital, and as far afield as the Chatham Islands.
At Gisborne Simon is Head of the Specialist Diabetes Podiatry service at Tairawhiti District Health. Technology used in looking after these feet is also being introduced at Speight's Podiatry to you, the best care possible.