In my experience a lot of patients who I have met with diabetes are in fact unsure of what exactly diabetes is or how it affects our body. This is through no fault of their own, in my own opinion there is not as much emphasizes on diabetes as there is perhaps with other diseases such as heart disease or stroke. However the consequences of diabetes are just as detrimental to our health. A lot of patients I have met are quiet startled at the fact that every twenty seconds a lower limb is amputated due to the complications of Diabetes. Please come in and have your feet checked, there is huge support available and I will explain exactly what Diabetes is, how it affects your lower limbs and most importantly how to manage this condition and prevent any future issues from occurring..
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a form of nerve damage and is serious complication of diabetes. Up to 70% of people with diabetes suffer with neuropathy. Nerve damage is a slow gradual process. The sensation in our lower limbs becomes diminished over time without the person realizing. As a result a person suffering with Diabetes may be unaware of shoes rubbing uncomfortably, trauma or injury to the feet. It is important if you suffer with neuropathy to check your feet daily for any cuts or abrasions to the skin.
Treatment: Diabetic peripheral neuropathy screening will be conducted; using different pieces of equipment the spinal and dorsal column tracts of the spine are tested. This will then indicate what areas of the feet (if any) have reduced or loss of sensation. If we find there is an area of the foot with diminished or loss of sensation, further treatment options will be explained and how to manage this.
Diabetic Vascular Disease
Elevated levels of glucose can not only cause nerve damage but also blood vessel damage. If damage is caused to blood vessels it means the blood supply to our feet is compromised. If circulation to the lower limbs is compromised the rate and ability of our body to heal from any trauma or injuries is reduced.
Treatment: Diabetic Vascular Screening: There are four pulses in our feet;two in our right and two in our left. These pulses can be checked through use of a Doppler and ultrasound gel. This including other tests will help us to determine the circulation to the legs and feet and steps can then be made to prevent any issues arising which may be caused by poor circulation.
Diabetic Foot Ulcers
Due to the complications of diabetes such as neuropathy and diabetic vascular disease an open sore or wound can develop. If left untreated these ulcerations can become very serious.
Podiatrists are the leading providers of wound care and limb preservation and are one of the few medical professionals skillfully trained in sharp debridement. If you are a diabetic who has developed an ulceration or breakdown on the leg or foot please attend clinic immediately where the area can be cleaned and dressed appropriately to begin wound healing.