Serious foot conditions for Australians with Diabetes

THE 2 MOST SERIOUS FOOT CONDITIONS FOR AUSTRALIANS WITH DIABETES

Up to 25% of people with diabetes will develop a foot ulcer in their lives, with more than half of all foot ulcers becoming infected and requiring hospitalisation and 20% requiring a lower limb amputation.

Any patient who is diagnosed with diabetes should regularly see a podiatrist due to the increased risk of foot problems. The following complications can cause serious lower limb permanent damage. 

1.   Neuropathy - Damage to the nerves in your feet and loss of sensation

If you have reduced sensation within the feet this can be known as peripheral neuropathy.  This means that the nerves don’t alert you to pain when there is too much pressure on the foot in a specific area.  For example, if your shoe is tight and rubbing, your sensation is reduced and it will not let you know that a blister is forming.  This can progress further into an ulceration.

 

2.   Poor Circulation - Damage to the blood vessels supplied to the feet

If you have poor blood glucose control, this may reduce blood flow to your feet and lead to cuts or ulcerations taking longer to heal. This leaves you more prone to infection and increase the risk of amputation. 

Diabetic foot wounds take time to heal and an appropriate dressing plan must be put in place, along with better diabetes health control.

 

The National Diabetes Health Care Guidelines recommend people with diabetes see a podiatrist at least every 12 months.

 

Here at Highett Podiatry, we assess and perform neurological assessments to identify your foot sensations, circulation flow and any potential risk factors or pressure areas.

A preventative education, treatment and management plan is important to your diabetic foot health.

Find out more about what we check for in our Annual Diabetes Podiatry Assessment here

Book your Annual Diabetes Assessment here 

Rebates

  • Medicare may provide a rebate on podiatrists’ fees if you have a chronic condition and are referred by your doctor.
  • Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) gold card holders are entitled to free podiatry services from Highett Podiatry.
  • Private health funds cover some podiatry services.

Visit Diabetes Australia 

Sources:

- Preventing foot ulcers in patients with Diabetes JAMA (2005)

- Risk factors for foot infections in individuals with Diabetes (2006)