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Diabetes And Feet | Diabetic Foot Check And Treatment

Understanding and Addressing Concerns

Living with diabetes involves managing various aspects of your health, and one crucial area that requires special attention is foot care. Diabetes can lead to complications that affect the nerves and blood vessels in the feet, potentially resulting in serious issues. Let's delve into the symptoms, complications, and preventive measures associated with diabetic foot, emphasising the importance of seeking professional care.

Symptoms of Diabetic Feet:

Foot pain is a common symptom for individuals with diabetes, but it's not exclusive to the condition. Various factors, such as injuries and arthritis, can contribute to foot pain. However, those with diabetes are more prone to experiencing it. The nature of the pain can vary, ranging from tingling or burning sensations to numbness or weakness. In some cases, diabetic individuals may not feel any pain at all, highlighting the significance of regular foot examinations.

Serious Complications:

Peripheral neuropathy is a severe complication associated with diabetic foot. It involves damage to the nerves, resulting in a loss of sensation. This lack of feeling can make it challenging to detect injuries or infections, leading to potentially severe consequences such as foot ulcers. Poor circulation is another common complication, as diabetes can harm blood vessels, impeding proper blood flow. This compromised circulation hinders the body's ability to fight infections and heal wounds, contributing to cold feet and skin discoloration. For some diabetics they have both peripheral neuropathy and compromised circulation in their legs and feet resulting in them having high risk feet. The role of a podiatrist in Diabetic Foot Care is early detection and treatment of foot poreblmes. Thus, saving life and limb.

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Foot Ulcers and Infections:

Foot ulcers, open sores that can become infected, are prevalent in diabetic individuals due to nerve and blood vessel damage. These ulcers can lead to complications like gangrene and may necessitate amputation. Additionally, other infections, such as fungal infections and cellulitis, can pose challenges in treatment, often requiring antibiotics or other medications.

Prevention and Treatment:

Preventing and managing diabetic foot complications is paramount. Individuals with diabetes should adopt meticulous foot care practices, including daily washing, use of cream, thorough drying, and wearing well-fitting, comfortable shoes. Regular self-examinations for cuts, sores, or signs of infection are crucial. Seeking prompt podiatry care is essential if any foot issues arise.

Our expert podiatrists in Berkhamsted conduct thorough examinations of the neurological, vascular, musculoskeletal, and dermatological systems of your feet and legs. Through these assessments, we determine your diabetic foot risk status to prevent foot ulcers and complications.

Your diabetic foot risk is stratified as per the NICE Guidelines 2019:

  • Low risk: No risk factors present except callus alone.
  • Moderate risk: Deformity, neuropathy, or peripheral arterial disease.
  • High risk: Previous ulceration or amputation, on renal replacement therapy, neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease together, neuropathy in combination with callus and/or deformity, or peripheral arterial disease in combination with callus and/or deformity.
  • Active diabetic foot problem: Ulceration, infection, chronic limb-threatening ischemia, gangrene, suspicion of acute Charcot arthropathy, or an unexplained hot, swollen foot with a change in color, with or without pain.

Based on your risk status, our podiatrists devise personalised management plans to mitigate the risk of diabetic foot ulcers and complications. Higher risk statuses necessitate more frequent assessments and care to ensure optimal foot health.

Key outcomes of our diabetic foot assessments include:

  • Classification of your diabetic foot risk status
  • Comprehensive vascular assessment
  • Diagnosis and treatment of nail and skin conditions such as corns, calluses, and cracked heels
  • Early detection of skin cancers
  • Minimisation of infection risks
  • Wound prevention and management
  • Education on diabetic foot care

Consulting with a Podiatrist:

If you're experiencing foot pain or other symptoms, consulting with a podiatrist is crucial for a thorough assessment. While foot pain can be indicative of diabetes, it may also stem from other medical conditions or injuries. A podiatrist can determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options tailored to your specific needs.

Individuals with diabetes must prioritise foot care to prevent serious complications such as foot ulcers and amputation. Early detection and professional guidance from a podiatrist play a pivotal role in managing diabetic foot concerns. If you're experiencing foot pain or other symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to our team for assistance in determining the cause and exploring suitable treatment options. Your proactive approach to your diabetic foot care is integral to your overall well-being, mobility and quality of life.

During your initial appointment, our podiatrists utilise validated assessment tools to establish your foot risk status:

  • Neurological Assessment
  • Vascular Assessment
  • Footwear assessment
  • Dermatological Assessment
  • General foot and nail care
  • Diabetic foot health education

Following the determination of your foot risk status, our podiatrists may recommend interventions such as change of footwear / socks, use of our products and or custom foot orthotics to reduce high-pressure areas prone to ulceration.

We aim to help you achieve your foot health goals, and follow-up appointments are scheduled based on your individual needs and desired outcomes. Trust Callen Olive Podiatry Clinic for comprehensive diabetic foot assessments, treatments and ongoing care to keep you stepping with confidence.