Diabetic Foot Health

Diabetes may affect your feet in a number of ways. One of the early changes can be loss of sensation (peripheral neuropathy), often starting at the toes which may lead to complications such as diabetic foot ulceration and amputation

Diabetes is a disease that develops from high blood glucose levels which can cause damage to the nerve systems in your body by stopping important messages getting to and from your brain.

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High blood glucose levels can also damage your blood vessels and thereby circulation to your feet and legs can become impaired so annual diabetic foot checks are essential along with other examinations such as eye and kidney tests which will be carried out by your GP.

Ulcerated foot

How do I prevent it?

Preventing foot problems involves managing your diabetes well, controlling blood glucose levels and leading a healthy active lifestyle. Everyone who has diabetes should have their feet checked regularly by a podiatrist at the very least once a year at their annual review. However, if you are at increased risk of complications, these inspections may be done more frequently.

When should I see a podiatrist about it?

  • Walking becomes more difficult
  • Applying or wearing shoes becomes more difficult
  • Tingling sensation or pins and needles
  • Part or all of your foot becomes swollen
  • Breaks in the skin, opens sores/blisters or a discharge
  • Skin colour changes (redder, bluer, paler, blacker) over part or all of the foot
  • Swelling in your feet and/or an unusual odour
  • Part or all of your foot feels much hotter or colder than usual
  • Hard skin (callus)
  • Cramp in your calves
  • Shiny smooth skin and/or losing hair on your feet and legs