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How does diabetes affect my feet?

Elevated blood sugar levels over an extended period of time can cause damage to nerves and reduce blood supply to your feet. If you have diabetes, you might be predisposed to:  

  • Nerve damage, or peripheral neuropathy (impaired sensation to your feet) 

  • Reduced blood supply to feet 

  • Delayed healing 

  • Increased risk of infection 


What symptoms should I look for?

Symptoms of nerve damage due to diabetes. These often occur gradually and worsen at night. You may experience: 

  • Numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes e.g. not being able to feel pebbles in shoes. 

  • Tingling or burning sensation 

  • Increased sensitivity to touch

  • Calf cramps when walking, worse uphill and goes off immediately after stopping 

So what can I do to help my feet? 

  • Check your feet daily - especially in between your toes and on the bottom of your feet. Look out for swelling, redness, broken skin, corns or calluses.  If you have difficulty examining the bottom of your feet, ask a family member or carer to help. Otherwise, use a mirror placed on the floor. If you have difficulty examining the bottom of your feet seeing a Podiatrist is useful. 

  • Clean your feet daily with mild soap and warm water to reduce risk of infection. Make sure to dry your feet thoroughly after shower each day, especially in between toes. 

  • Apply emollient on feet daily only on top and bottom of your feet, but not in between toes. 

  • Wear appropriate well fitting shoes

  • Regularly get your feet checked by a podiatrist - we test sensation, check blood supply, skin condition and muscle strength ​​

If you have damage or break in your skin what do you do?
  • Gently clean the area and apply an antiseptic and non stick dressing. 

  • Keep the area clean and dry, check the area and reapply a new dressing daily.

  • If swelling or redness occurs, or your condition is not improving see our Podiatrists 

How often should I see a Podiatrist if I have diabetes?

If you can reach, see and feel your feet, you may continue to care for them on a regular basis. However, make sure to check in with your podiatrist at least once a year for early detection of any complications to ensure you maintain your optimal foot health so you can continue doing things you love.

Our Podiatry team have after hours appointments for your convenience.

The first step to managing your foot health is to see our team for treatment.

We look forward to welcoming you to our Canning Vale Podiatry clinic soon.

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