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Diabetes

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

This is a condition where you have raised blood glucose levels (called hyperglycaemia) due to a metabolic disorder.

There are two main types of diabetes:

TYPE I– (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) where patients control their diabetes with insulin

TYPE II – (Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) where patients may control their diabetes through diet, tablets or sometimes insulin.

Both types of diabetes can be harmful to feet.

How regularly should I see a Podiatrist?

It is essential that everyone with Diabetes of either type visit a Podiatrist regularly for a 6 – 12 monthly check up (as a minimum) or whenever they have a foot problem (this may be on an urgent basis). Your podiatrist may recommend a much more frequent visit.

Warning Signs: Redness, Swelling, Pus, Discharge, Pain, malodour, heat. Recent trauma, foreign travel.

Why should Diabetics see a Podiatrist?

Diabetes can be related some marked changes to your feet. The circulation to your feet can deteriorate, meaning you may be more susceptible to infection, have a prolonged healing rates and your skin quality reduces meaning it is easier to damage. The sense of feeling in your feet can also reduce so that it is possible to damage your feet and not know about it. (neuropathy). Bare foot is not advised. It is important you monitor your feet regularly to ensure you detect these changes early on. You can see how even a seemingly simple problem like corns, callus or toenail cutting could cause much bigger problems under these circumstances.

Basic Guidelines for Diabetics

Wash feet daily and dry thoroughly – especially between the toes. Apply an emollient cream to your feet daily but not between your toes. Check your feet daily for anything unusual – colour changes, breaks in the skin, swelling, discharge, malodour, signs of infection, pressure damage. Seek medical attention urgently if these are noted – we can offer daily emergency appointments. Always use footwear to protect your feet. Ensure your shoes are the correct fit and are adjustable – flat, well cushioned and supportive. Avoid any slip on style shoes.

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