Diabetes Podiatry

Podiatry (foot care) for people with diabetes is one of the most overlooked aspects of diabetes management.

Reviewing the community discussion regarding podiatry and particularly for visiting podiatrists reveals that many people with diabetes are entirely unaware that they need to take special care of their feet and visit a podiatrist at once if problems arise.

Higher levels of blood glucose can damage the nerve endings in many areas of the body and organs, which is why tight blood glucose control is an essential aspect of diabetes care.

Why podiatry is so essential to people with diabetes

  • Diabetes causes nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetes affects the circulation, and poor circulation can affect how the body heals
  • People with diabetes are more prone to infection
  • Diabetes complications can also affect the feet
  • Diabetes can affect the joints and make them stiffer

What happens with poor podiatry?

A variety of foot problems can arise when poor foot care fails to catch issues at an early stage. These may include:

  • Damage to the foot
  • Foot ulcers
  • Foot infections
  • Charcot’s joints
  • Amputation

Don’t forget your podiatrist!

Podiatrists are one of the essential professionals within diabetes care, and have a much underrated role to play in preventing and managing foot complications amongst people with diabetes.

Podiatrists are on hand at every stage, be it prevention, concern about a foot problem, and dealing with genuine problems once they occur.

Visit your podiatrist at least annually for a risk assessment.

What the community is saying about podiatry

  • Fergus : Diabetics can self refer to a podiatry department. I would say NEVER ignore a foot injury, so SEE A PODIATRIST. Find their number from your district hospital website and phone them. They don’t take foot injuries lightly.
  • Fergus : I was limping for well over a week. When I finally tried cutting the toenail, I pulled a bit at the side and an infection got in. My toe swelled up and started releasing horrible smelling pus. I thought it would heal itself, but it didn’t.
  • Fergus : I see a podiatrist free at the local clinic. (Hounslow). At one visit I was referred to the hospital for some shoe inserts which fixed a problem.
  • Fergus : Firstly, your doctor should know that neuropathy (nerve damage) is often caused by diabetes and there are drugs out there which will ease the pain, specifically formulated for neuropathy caused by diabetes. I don’t drive either and walk a lot therefore. It took me a week to get used to Crocs (they weren’t painful, just felt strange) and now I love them. I can walk and walk and never get sore aching feet or blisters.
  • HLW : I’ve got a problem with one of my big toes; it’s infected at the side of the nail. I’ve got some antibiotics left over from the last time this happened a few months ago (doc prescribed me 2 courses last time, told me to take the 2nd course if it happened again). The doctor said I should go back if it happened again / kept happening. My question is, how urgent is this?
Why are the rules for Diabetic Podiatry so varied? I am 6 months into type 2 diabetes with a wedge fracture of the spine and find my own footcare nearly impossible. I was assessed at Wokingham Hospital and was told that I had an ingrown big toenail that would need an operation but not to ring for an appointment in under 10 weeks. It is now infected. Other areas do not seem to have these rules.
Posted by Fergus on Sunday, May 08, 2011
Used to attend Newcastle general hospital diabetic clinic but they stopped routine podiatry so was referred to local community clinic which I attended for approximately 5 years. They changed the podiatrist and I was told I was attending too often, every 2 months, and did not need to. I told them prevention was better than treatment -heated discussion so went private paying for treatment every 2 months. So far so good (type 1 for 56 years).
Posted by Fergus, Tyne & Wear on Thursday, September 23, 2010
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