Diabetic and Chronic Disease Foot Care

The feet are commonly involved in diabetes mellitus (DM) and other chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

A simple nick to the toe may be devastatingly complicated by diabetes. DM reduces the sensitivity of the feet due to neuropathic injury/nerve damage.

At the same time, DM slows wound healing and makes you predisposed to infections. All of these elements work together to turn it into a festering sore.

Patients with DM and Footcare

This category of patients requires advice and education on the right kind of footwear and basic tips on foot care. This is essential as even common issues such as corns and calluses may be detrimental to diabetics.

They require vascular and neurological testing services to detect problems as early as possible. Early detection helps to limit damage and reduce the risk of complications and amputation. Therefore, regular screening should be done.

Foot care tips from podiatrists

  • Keep your feet clean and dry, but not so dry that they start to crack.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid stilettos.
  • Do not go barefoot, even at home.
  • Never try to remove corns and calluses on your own. For patients with co-morbidities, this should be reserved for the experts.
  • Inspect your feet daily to pick up cuts or bruises.
  • Cut down on drinking as alcohol will worsen the neuropathy making you more susceptible to injuries.
  • Smoking worsens existing vascular narrowing these patients experience.

Podiatrists play an important part in the management of DM in patients

DM and other chronic illnesses typically require multidisciplinary care made up of a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, and ophthalmologists etc.

Podiatrists are an invaluable part of the team for DM and chronic illnesses that affect the feet.

They can assess the extent of nerve damage in your feet, identify specific health risks, and help tailor a treatment plan for you [1].

Here are a few roles podiatrists play in diabetes management

  • Educate you on the implications of nerve damage and what to watch out for.
  • Check for ulcers and sores
  • Provide expert advice on the treatment of corns and calluses.
  • Recommend effective and specific foot products for you.
  • Provide tips for lifestyle adjustment [2].

It’s best to have a podiatrist you can call on at any time or at least easy access to a qualified one. In the Gold Coast, for the best mobile and home-based podiatry services, look no further than The Foot Stop. With qualified professionals who are well versed in chronic disease foot care, you’re sure to receive the care you deserve.

REFERENCES

  1. Diabetes Health: Why you need to see a Podiatrist regularly. Siren. https://siren.care/blog/diabetes-health-need-see-podiatrist-regularly/. Accessed 22-09-2020.
  2. The Key Role of a Podiatrist in Diabetic Foot Care. Podiatry associates. https://podiatryassociates.org/the-key-role-of-a-podiatrist-in-diabetic-foot-care/. Accessed 22-09-2020.
  3. The Foot Stop. https://thefootstop.com.au/. Accessed 22-09-2020.
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