There are more than 200 million people who are currently affected by diabetes and a whopping 7 million develop diabetes every year (International Diabetes Federation). Diabetic people need should be conscious about their health and this often includes a regular check on blood sugar level, kidney tests (at least annually) and foot health. Many often ignore to care their feet, only because they are too busy to “look down”. If you are diabetic, caring for your feet is a priority that you shouldn’t overlook. Even a slightest injury to your feet with ignorance may lead to leg amputation! Yes, it’s that serious!
Why do diabetic foot injuries fail to heal?
Diabetics are prone to reduced blood flow to their feet, which is why their injuries fail to heal. A small cut may take a long time to heal and during this period, it is extremely vital for the diabetic patient to be diligent in their wound care. However, in spite of taking all the necessary precautions and measures sometimes, the wounds fail to heal leading to serious feet complications requiring surgery.
Ok then, so who do I see?
While a diabetic consultant is a good start, your best bet for your feet would be a podiatrist or a foot health practitioner, depending on your case. If you are injured and it’s been long since the injury healed, see a podiatrist (specializing in the surgery aspect of foot health). If you’d just like a foot massage ( helps in the lower limb blood circulation), have a pedicure, foot spa or would like to consult about your feet, the right shoes or other aspects of your daily foot life, your FHP (foot health practitioner) would be of a great help.
Meanwhile, I’d like to start caring for my feet at home. Any pointers?
If you are diabetic, you can start caring for your feet right away. You don’t need to wait for your podiatrist or consultant’s appointment to do so. Here are a few ideas:
• Look after your feet every day. Check for any injury or sign of fungal infection (especially around your toenails) or blisters.