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Diabetes and the Foot

BY KATIE BLUNDELL
CHIROPODIST 

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November 15th is World Diabetes Day. Many know of the detrimental impacts diabetes can have on your overall health, but do not make the connection between diabetes and foot issues. Chronic high blood sugar causes damage to blood vessels and nerve endings, this means reduced sensation and circulation to the foot. Without protective sensation, small cuts and sores often go unnoticed and can lead to diabetic foot ulcers. With poor circulation, and continued pressure from walking we see very slow healing times. High blood sugar equals faster bacterial growth and infections. This is a dangerous combination, and has thrusted diabetes to be the number one cause of non traumatic amputations in Canada, 85% of which were preceded by a foot ulcer.


These facts can be frightening, the good news is there are lots of preventative measures that can be taken. Blood sugar control can delay nerve and blood vessel damage. Foot specific – it is important to get regular check ups with a foot care specialist, such as a Chiropodist. We assess for circulation, sensation, and pressure spots. We provide advice on footwear and general diabetic foot care. For those who are deemed higher risk we do nail and callus care, as well as padding or orthotics to offload pressure points. If the unfortunate occurs, we specialize in diabetic ulcer care.

Quick tips for Diabetic foot care:

  • Check your feet daily for red spots or sores
  • Only wear properly fitting and well structured shoes – if it rubs, get rid of it
  • Wear protective footwear in the house
  • Be extremely careful when trimming nails or callus – see a chiropodist if you have any difficulty
  • Keep between the toes dry, but moisturize everywhere else regularly

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