Diabetes, your feet and the podiatrist

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?

Andrew

Andrew has taught at the University as well as providing podiatry services in South Africa since 1977. Twice chair of the Podiatry Association of South Africa and a commentator on care of your feet on both radio and television he now works in private practice in Cape Town and Hout Bay.

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