People with diabetes have a tendency to develop foot problems more often than those who don’t have diabetes. Due to the increased or uncontrolled blood sugar levels, diabetics often develop complications such as nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) and circulation damage (microangiopathy). This means that diabetics lose sensation in their feet, and blood flow to the feet is compromised, which greatly increases their risk for further complications such as injuries and infections.
It is imperative that all diabetics consult a podiatrist at least once a year for an annual check-up and if there are complications, they may require regular treatment to help prevent further complications. An untreated callous can easily progress to a pressure ulcer. Cutting of nails, callouses and corns should never be attempted by yourself, only a qualified podiatrist should be treating your feet. If proper treatment is not received you may develop a diabetic pressure ulcer from an untreated callous – this is something that you want to avoid!
Diabetic Foot Facts
- Every 30 seconds a limb is lost to diabetes somewhere in the world
- Up to 70% of all leg amputations happen to people with diabetes
- Foot problems are the most common cause of admission to hospital for people with diabetes
- Most amputations begin with a foot ulcer
- Each year 4 million people worldwide get foot ulcers
- One in every six people will have a foot ulcer during their lifetime
- Up to 85% of amputations can be avoided