If you have diabetes, it is important to develop a strong relationship with a podiatry specialist, as the condition not only affects the heart, eyes, and kidneys; it also greatly impacts your feet. In fact, diabetics are frequently admitted to the hospital because of problems with their feet.
How Diabetes Can Affect the Feet
Diabetes can impact the function of the feet in one of two ways. Either the blood supply is diminished or the nerves are affected by the condition. When the nerves are involved, the patient may experience numbness or burning pain in their feet and legs. This type of discomfort is often more noticeable during the night-time hours. Some patients state that they feel a tingling sensation of pins and needles in their feet.
If you are experiencing this type of symptomatology, it is normally because the nerves are damaged or have undergone trauma. These types of symptoms are dangerous, as they increase the risk of damage and injury. Many times, a loss of sensation can lead to a condition that is far more serious.
Injuries Can Lead to Infection
For instance, you may experience an injury which causes an ulcer. If the ulcer forms on the bottom of the foot, it can lead to a chronic infection or osteomyelitis, which is a bone infection. If this type of infection is not treated in the early stages, the ulcer could in fact lead to an eventual amputation.
If blood flow to the feet is diminished, this can also trigger an infection. Signs that a person’s blood supply is poor include the following:
- Pain in the feet when the patient is relaxing or at rest
- Leg cramps that develop after climbing a flight of stairs or after a short walk
- A sense of coldness in the feet
- Feet that take on a reddish-blue hue
- Cuts which take too long to heal
No Foot Problem Is Trivial
In these instances, you cannot wait to make an appointment with a foot doctor in Perth. Whilst a minor foot problem may be trivial to non-diabetics, this is simply not the case with anyone who is a diabetic. Needless to say, the importance of properly taking care of the feet cannot be emphasised enough. A podiatrist can assist a diabetic in following a regular foot care routine – one which will lower any chance of complications or injuries.
Because diabetes is a systemic disease, or a condition that impacts various parts of the body, it is a condition that requires an approach that includes a number of specialty areas. Therefore, a podiatrist is one of the key medical professionals in diabetic care. This means that routine foot screenings should be scheduled for people with diabetes.
Besides regular foot screenings, diabetics should also be aware of any warning indicators that should be called to the attention of their podiatrist. These warning signs include the following:
- Swellings of the ankle or foot
- Leg pain
- Open sores on the foot that do not easily heal
- Fungal or ingrown toenails
- Calluses or corns that bleed
- Dryness and cracks around the heel
- Elevations in skin temperature
- Alternations in the colour of the skin
If you have not seen a podiatrist yet, make sure you make an appointment or schedule regular foot screenings if you have diabetes.