It is very important for people with diabetes to have their feet checked regularly by a qualified podiatrist. Diabetes affects the body in many ways and can have many effects on the feet. It can reduce the blood supply or quality of blood flow to your feet or reduce the sensation in your feet or cause unusual sensations in your feet like burning or pins and needles or like the soles are a bit numb. In some cases, if left unmanaged, these changes could result in a wound developing. We want to prevent these wounds wherever possible so highly recommend 6 – 12 monthly diabetic assessments.
An assessment by our podiatrists may include:
- A vascular assessment to assess the blood flow and supply to your feet. This may include:
- feeling your foot pulses
- listening to your foot pulses with Doppler ultrasound technology (similar to what is used to hear an unborn baby’s heartbeat)
- checking capillary supply at your toes
- assessing the temperature of your feet and toes
- A neurological assessment to assess the sensation (or how much feeling you have) in your feet. The podiatrists will test this with a range of equipment to assess how well you can detect:
- A light touch
- A fine touch
- The difference between sharp and blunt
- Whether or not your foot reflexes are active
- An assessment of your skin and any areas that may put your feet at risk of developing an ulcer or sore or infection.
- An assessment of your nails to detect any nails that may become ingrown or cause problems or infection
Our podiatrists will then guide you and help you to choose the best course of action based on your individual assessment to ensure your feet stay as healthy and comfortable as possible. They will also liaise with you doctor where necessary to ensure you are well cared for.