Am I at risk of developing age onset diabetes? I am one of eight children. My father had venous disease, which led to an ulcer and finally amputation of his leg. My mother developed age onset Type 2 Diabetes. Many of my siblings are being are having to monitor their blood sugar levels. Yes I am at risk!
Diabetes is the name given to a group of conditions in which there is too much glucose in the blood. A diabetic person may manage their condition with one or all of the following: insulin, oral medication, healthy eating, not smoking and regular exercise.
Diabetes can increase a person’s risk of having foot problems – the extreme consequence being amputation. Therefore foot care for someone with diabetes is a daily priority.
So I have a responsibility to myself!
At Happy Feet Pedorthics we have a good look at people’s feet in the assessment and fitting for appropriate footwear. We are looking at and asking questions about:
- blood flow to the feet
- foot shape
- the skin – dryness, calluses, corns, cracks or infections
- feeling and reflexes
In the assessment and fitting process at Happy Feet Pedorthics we work with commitment to encourage our clients to understand, take responsibility and take action to care for their feet by:
- attending education sessions held at their podiatrist or GP practice
- having their feet checked at least once a year by the doctor or the diabetes health professional
- checking their feet every day – washing and drying every day, and looking at the top and bottom and between the toes every day , seeking medical advice immediately if there is any change
- cutting the toe nails straight across and filing sharp edges
- seeking assistance for the cutting of the toe nails if you cannot see properly or reach down easily
- moisturising the feet regularly
- wearing loose socks to not constrict the flow of blood and fluid
- keeping your feet away from the direct heat of heaters, how water bottles and electric blankets
- wearing supportive shoes which fit well with the correct length, width and depth
At Happy Feet Pedorthics we don’t agree with the idea of a diabetic shoe. All people, including people with diabetes need to be assessed and fitted for appropriate footwear. We have clients who have diabetes and attend Happy Feet Pedorthics who wear shoes pictured as part of this article. You are invited to come, meet us and try some shoes during July – our Diabetes and Footwear Month, whilst having a FREE shoe assessment.
Clare Nelson C Ped CM AU