Taking Care of Your Feet in Diabetes
We know that people living with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing problems with their feet, due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation. So keep an eye on your feet at home and make sure that you get a quality foot check from a member of our Practice Nursing Team at least once a year. This check usually takes place at the Practice as part of your diabetes annual review. It’s a very important part of your diabetes care – if you have missed your annual foot check, make sure you call us on 0207 402 4026.
Your annual foot check should involve the following:
- You will be asked to remove any footwear, including socks/stockings.
- Your feet will be examined – including looking for corns, calluses and changes in shape.
- Your feet will be tested for numbness or changes in sensation (‘neuropathy’) with a tuning fork or a fine plastic strand called a monofilament.
- You will be asked questions about your feet and diabetes management, including:
- Have you noticed any problems or changes (such as cuts, blisters, broken skin or corns)?
- Have you had any previous foot problems or wounds?
- Have you experienced any pain or discomfort?
- How often do you check your feet, and what do you look for?
- Do you have any cramp-like pains when walking?
- How well are you managing your diabetes?
- Your footwear will also be examined to make sure it is not causing any problems to your feet.
- At the end of the foot check, you will be told the results and your level of risk of foot problems.
- You will be given information about what your level of risk means and what to do next, including:
- advice about how to care for your feet – according to your level of risk
- an agreed management/treatment plan
- emergency contact details
- referral to the local Diabetic Podiatry Service when appropriate.
WHEN CARING FOR YOUR FEET, WHAT SORT OF PROBLEMS SHOULD YOU LOOK OUT FOR?
Damage to your nerves might be indicated by:
- tingling sensation; pins and needles
- pain (burning)
- sweating less
- feet that are red and hot to touch
- changes to the shape of your feet
- hard skin
- loss of feeling in your feet/legs.
Damage to your blood supply might be indicated by:
- cramp in your calves (at rest or when walking)
- shiny smooth skin
- loss of hair on your legs and feet
- cold, pale feet
- changes in the skin colour of your feet
- wounds or sores that do not heal
- pain in your foot/feet
- swollen feet.
If you notice any of these things, or have concerns about your feet, please contact us –
do not wait until your annual foot check!