With National Diabetes Week commencing on the 14th July, Podiatrists are urging individuals and families affected by diabetes to visit their podiatrist for a diabetic foot health check so they can start making positive, informed decisions on their foot health – and their lives.
A visit to the Podiatrist can reduce the risk of serious diabetic foot complications, including ulcerations and amputations, by improving awareness of how any why complications develop. Identification and prevention of these issues is key.
Here are the hard foot facts;
- The number one reason somebody with diabetes is admitted to hospital is a foot ulcer or complication
- More than 4,400 foot or leg amputations occur in Australia every year due to diabetes
- Foot ulcers result in 10,000 hospital admissions annually, many of which end in amputation
- An annual diabetic foot health assessment by a podiatristprovides easy-to-implement management and prevention strategies that can reduce the risk of ulceration and amputation
Those diagnosed with diabetes are often eligible for the government’s chronic disease management scheme (CDM). This entitles them to significant rebates for several Podiatry services to have a diabetic foot health assessment and to manage any identified foot problems.
These diabetic specific assessments measure the impact that the disease has already had on the feet through determining the sensory (ability to feel) and circulatory (the blood supply) status of each patient. When sensation or blood supply to the feet is compromised, risks involve being unable to detect new cuts and injuries, as well as being unable to effectively heal these wounds in a timely manner – if at all. This poses an important risk of infection, ulceration, and amputation as a result.
A podiatrist can pair the assessment findings with easy-to-implement management and prevention strategies, empowering those living with diabetes to take control of their foot health and better manage their risks.
Tips to help at home to prevent diabetes foot related complications:
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly daily
- Visually examine your feet daily for marks, spots, cuts, swelling or redness (a mirror can help)
- Choose correctly fitted shoes (ask your podiatrist what is best for your foot type)
- Wear cotton socks with no elastic in the tops to absorb sweat but reduce pressure on the foot
- Visit your podiatrist annually or more frequently if recommended.
- Seek cushioned and protective orthotics to reduce pressure points under the feet, and alleviate corns and calluses
Quick self-foot checks should be performed daily, and an annual review with a podiatrist is essential, as the symptoms of diabetic foot disease progressively worsen over time.
Information provided by: My FootDr Brookside (Located in the Brookside Shopping Centre), Ph: 3355 1256