So many foot problems could be prevented if people with diabetes had their feet thoroughly examined by a podiatrist. Worldwide, guidelines for the management of diabetes recommend an annual foot examination at the very least.
Today we celebrate World Diabetes Day. What a pity that so many people with diabetes wont feel like celebrating because they suffer some foot complications. This can be as simple as a painful corn or as complicated as an amputation.
As a podiatrist I would like to be celebrating an improvement in the foot health of South Africans, but unfortunately many people with diabetes have never seen a podiatrist, mistakenly believing that since they have no visible foot problems everything is fine.
Diabetes causes changes to the circulation and nerves to the legs and feet which often develop slowly and almost without notice. Recently I have heard people say that they have the less serious diabetes “the second type”!
Managing diabetes is a team effort and the podiatrist is a member of the team. If you neglect your feet and have no idea if they are showing the effects of diabetes, you are probably going to develop, corns, callus, blisters, ulcers and worse. Do you know the quality of your circulation? Are you sure you can feel everything with your nerves?
Why not commit to better foot health today by making an appointment with a podiatrist for a diabetic foot assessment?
Friday November 14, 2014 is World Diabetes Day. This year’s campaign is the start of a three-year focus on healthy living and diabetes. Look at these facts:
2014 = an estimated 382 million people living with diabetes worldwide. Plus 316 million at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes
2035 = an estimated 592 million people. That’s one person in ten.
This is a pandemic of giant proportions and what makes it more threatening is that throughout much of the world diabetes remains hidden – with up to half of all people with diabetes globally being undiagnosed.
Most cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented and the serious complications of the disease avoided by following a healthy lifestyle.
The campaign has key messages on possible lifestyle choices and taking informed decisions on healthy choices.
I think that in the developing world we have serious problems with access to appropriate health care, arising from poor governance, the burden of poverty and the dissemination of relevant health information. The is definitely true in South Africa today.
I will be supporting this initiative from the point of view of the role of the podiatrist in developing and implementing appropriate strategies for the prevention of diabetic foot complications, such as foot ulcers and amputations.