How much attention do you actually pay to your feet? If you're among the 1.1 million Australians affected by diabetes, you will need to take extra care of your feet. Your feet can be indicators of when the overall condition is worsening, and diabetes can also create problems that directly affect your feet. So what are some of the reasons that you need local podiatric practice to help manage your diabetes?
Everyone suffers from feet that can feel sore, or simply tired, but this feeling can be made much worse by diabetes. Diabetes can reduce blood circulation to your feet, which is the cause of this feeling. In minor cases it can simply feel like a numbness or a tingling sensation, but at its worst, it can cause a pain that makes it difficult to sleep.
Diabetes can also damage the nerves in your feet, making you less aware of any other damage, due to not feeling the pain. A podiatrist will monitor the level of pain, and those with serious diabetes should have their feet checked every three to six months. A change in the level of pain can indicate an advancement in the condition, which your doctor will need to take steps to rectify. Your podiatrist can suggest massage therapy from an approved practitioner, which can improve circulation, and greatly alleviate your discomfort.
Ulcers, Corns and Calluses
Those with diabetes and the often subsequent damaged nerves in their feet can be far more prone to painful ulcers, corns and calluses. The extent of the damage is often masked by the damaged nerves, as the pain isn't as severe as it would have been in healthy feet. Inspect your feet each day, and should you notice the beginnings of any ulcers, corns or calluses, you will need to have these seen to immediately.
Your podiatrist might suggest a home kit for removal if your condition is not particularly severe. For growths that have been developing for some time, your podiatrist will probably need to be the one who removes them. Speedy removal is necessary, since if left unchecked, they can become infected. Infection due to ulcers, corns or calluses can be more dangerous in diabetics.
Diabetes-related nerve damage can cause the feet to become misaligned. You might not even notice it, since it doesn't always impact on the way that you walk. This can contribute to those previously mentioned ulcers, corns and calluses, since you might accidentally place greater pressure on the areas of your feet less affected by nerve damage.
A great way to overcome this is by wearing correct footwear. Your podiatrist might suggest a certain kind of shoe to overcome any misalignment, which then evens out the pressure on your feet. They might even be able to construct a special orthotic insert which will hold your feet in the best position for walking.
So while a number of approaches are needed to effectively manage your diabetes, it's really important to not forget your feet.