Diabetes Awareness Week! Why are foot assessments important?
It is diabetes awareness week and we are here to spread the word!
Here are some statistics on diabetes in Australia!
- Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes in Australia. It accounts for approximately 85-90% of all diagnosed cases.
- It is estimated that around 500,000 Australians have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, meaning they are unaware of their condition.
- In Australia, it is estimated that diabetes is responsible for approximately 4,400 hospitalizations related to lower limb amputations each year
- Diabetes-related foot complications account for over 80% of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations in the country.
People with diabetes are particularly susceptible to foot problems, making regular foot assessments an essential part of their healthcare routine. In this blog post, we will delve into the significance of annual foot assessments for individuals with diabetes and highlight the benefits they bring to overall well-being.
How are foot health and diabetes linked?
Diabetes can lead to several complications that affect the feet. High blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor blood circulation (peripheral artery disease), leading to decreased sensation and impaired healing ability. Additionally, diabetes can increase the risk of foot ulcers, infections, and, in severe cases, even amputations. Early detection and timely intervention are crucial to preventing these complications and maintaining optimal foot health.
Where does podiatry come in?
Annual Foot Assessments: An Essential Preventive Measure:
Early Detection of Issues: Regular foot assessments by our podiatrist help us to identify any potential problems at their earliest stages. Annually, we assess nerve sensitivity, circulation, skin integrity, and the presence of any abnormalities or deformities. This enables us to put prevention in place to reduce the risk of infection or ulceration. The assessments we carry out include a doppler assessment and toe pressure reading to assess circulation and a range of neurological assessments to test your peripheral nerves.
Prevention of Foot Ulcers:
Foot ulcers are a significant concern for individuals with diabetes, as they can lead to severe infections and even limb amputations. By conducting annual foot assessments, healthcare providers can identify areas of high pressure, calluses, or other factors that may increase the risk of developing ulcers. This information can then be used to recommend appropriate interventions, such as orthotic devices, offloading techniques, or diabetic footwear, to prevent ulcer formation. We normally recommend any patients with podiatrists to visit us in clinic for callus reduction and nail trimming to reduce the likelihood of an infection developing from using tools at home.
Education and Self-Care Guidance
Annual foot assessments provide an opportunity for podiatrists to educate their patients with diabetes about proper foot care practices. Patients can learn how to inspect their feet daily, manage toenails, moisturize their skin, and choose suitable footwear.
Individualized Treatment Plans
Every person with diabetes has unique foot health needs. Annual foot assessments allow healthcare providers to develop personalized treatment plans based on the individual’s risk factors, foot structure, and overall health. These plans may include recommendations for regular podiatry visits, foot-specific exercises, diabetes management adjustments, and lifestyle modifications, all aimed at optimizing foot health and minimizing complications.
Our feet are the foundation of our mobility, and taking care of them is a crucial aspect of managing diabetes effectively. So, prioritize annual foot assessments with your podiatrist to ensure the long-term health and functionality of your feet.
Visit Diabetes Australia for more information. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/