Edit

About Us

Foot Medic™ is a group of UK podiatry clinics that are committed to providing the highest standards

of foot & ankle care via standardised, evidence-based treatment plans.

You can find a local Foot Medic™ Group clinic by clicking on the link below.

Contact Info

Edit

About Us

Foot Medic™ is a group of UK podiatry clinics that are committed to providing the highest standards

of foot & ankle care via standardised, evidence-based treatment plans.

You can find a local Foot Medic™ Group clinic by clicking on the link below.

Contact Info

Diabetes – how can it affect my feet & what is my risk of developing a foot problem?

  • Home
  • -
  • Foot Health Articles
  • -
  • Diabetes – how can it affect my feet & what is my risk of developing a foot problem?

Over the next few months we will be looking at various aspects of diabetic foot care including the questions you should ask about your risk of developing a foot problem e.g.

  1. How often do I need to have a foot check?
  2. How can diabetes affect my feet? What is my risk of developing a foot problem and how have you calculated this?
  3. How will I know if my risk changes?
  4. What should I do if I think I’ve got a foot problem?
  5. What is the best way of looking after my feet?
  6. Can you advise me about shoes, socks and insoles?
  7. Are there any changes to my lifestyle that I need to make?
  8. How can managing my diabetes help?
  9. Why are you referring me to someone else? What will they do?
  10. How often do I need to have a foot check?

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends annual monitoring of blood glucose, blood pressure, total cholesterol, kidney and eye screening and an assessment of lower limb for all people with diabetes.

Having a diagnosis of diabetes will put you at increased risk of foot problems. It is therefore very important to understand just how diabetes can affect your feet and your Risk Level.

Foot examinations should be carried out by a trained healthcare professional. A foot examination will:

  • establish if you have any foot problems at present
  • examine your foot shape and footwear to see whether you may be at risk of rubbing or pressure
  • check your skin for changes in colour and look for ulcers, sores, areas of hard skin and any signs of inflammation or infection
  • test the feeling in your feet to see how well the nerves are working
  • take the pulse in each of your feet to check the blood flow
  • work out your risk (low, moderate or high) of developing a diabetic foot problem.

Following the foot examination, you will understand why your feet have been classed as Low, Medium or High Risk of developing foot complications in the future and how to look after your feet. Those at Low Risk will be checked annually, Medium Risk, every 3-6 months and High Risk every 1-2 months.

If the foot check shows that you don’t have any foot problems, you will still need to have a foot check every year.

If your feet have not been screened and checked by a trained healthcare professional in the last year then you should contact your foot health provider, in the first instance, or GP.

The answer to question 2.

2. How can diabetes affect my feet? What is my risk of developing a foot problem and how have you calculated this?

Diabetes, once diagnosed, is a lifelong, vascular condition which can cause foot problems if the nerves and /or blood vessels become damaged.

Diabetes can affect:

  • The feeling in your feet (neuropathy)
  • The circulation in your feet (ischemia)

Often the changes are so gradual they may go unnoticed. It is therefore important to have your feet screened regularly by a trained health professional.

Controlling diabetes, cholesterol, BP, quitting smoking, increasing exercise and controlling weight will all help to reduce the risk of developing life and limb-threatening problems.

Developing a foot ulcer is serious as it is related to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and amputations of foot or leg. It is therefore important to know what your risk is of developing a foot complication and potentially a foot ulcer.

What is YOUR Risk of developing foot complications and foot ulcers?

LOW RISK 

  1. There is NO significant nerve damage
  2. There is NO significant blood vessel damage
  3. There is NO history of foot ulceration (a break in the skin that struggles to heal)
  4. There is NO foot deformity
  5. Vision is NORMAL
  6. Your Action Plan: Agree a self-management plan and visit a podiatrist/chiropodist annually

MODERATE RISK

  1. There is some loss of feeling in the feet
  2. The circulation in the feet is reduced
  3. There is hard skin on your feet
  4. The shape of your foot has changed
  5. Vision is affected
  6. You struggle to look after your feet
  7. Your Action Plan: Take extra care of your feet. Have your feet checked by a podiatrist/chiropodist or health care professional every 3-6 months. This will reduce your risk of developing any diabetes-related complications in the future.

HIGH RISK

  1. There is some loss of feeling in the feet
  2. The circulation in the feet is reduced
  3. There is hard skin on your feet
  4. The shape of your foot has changed
  5. Vision is affected
  6. You are unable to look after your feet yourself
  7. There is a history of foot ulceration
  8. There is a history of amputation
  9. You are receiving renal replacement therapy (dialysis)
  10. Your Action Plan: Take extra care of your feet and have your feet checked by a podiatrist/ chiropodist or health care professional every 1-2 months

Call Kenilworth Footcare today on 01926 563555 or book an appointment online