Why is it important for people living with diabetes to check their feet?

Why is it important for people living with diabetes to check their feet?

Diabetic Foot Screening
 
Over time, diabetes can affect both the arterial and nervous supply of the feet.
 
Diabetes, if long-standing or poorly controlled, may cause irreversible nerve damage. This is known as diabetic neuropathy. Sensory nerve damage involves loss of feeling and sensation in one’s feet and this may therefore result in cuts, sores and ulcerations. There are several signs and symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, some individuals may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Paresthesia (pins and needles/ tingling sensation)
  • Numbness and neuropathic pain often described as (burning, shooting, aching or lancinating pain).
On the other hand, certain individuals may not experience such symptoms and only realise that there is a problem when they notice the presence of an ulceration.
 
Moreover, diabetes can lead to damage to the arteries of the foot in which these arteries become narrow or in severe cases, may be completely blocked, this is known as peripheral arterial disease. Some may not experience any symptoms, however, others may experience:
  • Pain in the calf muscle when walking, known as intermittent claudication. Due to the reduced blood flow to the feet, a cut, a sore or an ulcer will take longer to heal, increasing the risk of infection and other complications. If the reduction in blood supply is severe, pain may also be present in the feet while at rest.
  • There may also be gangrene, that is, damage of healthy viable tissue due to lack of blood supply, ultimately leading to amputation.
 
Diabetic foot screening is performed to check the status of both the sensory nerves and the blood supply to the feet. Seeing your podiatrist on a regular basis can help prevent diabetes-related foot complications.
 
To book your foot screening call Blissful on  +356 21437254
 
 

References

Armstrong, D. (2017, Januray). Diabetes and Foot Problems. Retrieved from National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/foot-problem

Yang, H., Sloan, G., Ye, Y., Wang, S., Duan, B., Tesfaye, S., & Gao, L. (2020). New Perspective in Diabetic Neuropathy: From the Periphery to the Brain, a Call for Early Detection, and Precision Medicine. Frontiers in Endocrinology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2019.00929

Morley R L, Sharma A, Horsch A D, Hinchliffe R J. Peripheral artery disease BMJ 2018; 360 :j5842 doi:10.1136/

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