If you’re diagnosed with diabetes (whatever type), it’s important to be aware of how this can affect your body. However, the amount of information to take in when you have diabetes can sometimes be overwhelming, which is why we’ve started a Doctor Q&A series which answers some popular questions about diabetes.
Our Medical Director, Richard, has taken some time to outline the key points of how diabetes can affect your feet. Read more below.
Having diabetes means you’re at much greater risk of developing foot problems. This is because, when your sugar levels are too high, this can damage the feeling in your feet. High sugar levels can also affect your circulation meaning you are getting less blood supply to your feet. Without a good blood supply, you may have problems with cuts and sores healing, and you may also get cramps and pain in your legs or feet.
It’s really important to check your feet regularly and attend your annual foot check with your healthcare professional, as most foot problems can be prevented with good foot care and regular checks. However, if you don’t get these foot problems treated, they could lead to foot ulcers, infections and, at worst, amputations.
Persistent high blood glucose levels (hyperglycaemia) can damage the lining of smaller blood vessels. This damage can result in poor blood circulation and in turn, this can result in swollen feet and ankles. This happens when your blood doesn’t circulate properly and fluid gets trapped in certain parts of your body, such as the legs, ankles, and feet. This excess fluid that builds up in the body tissue which is known as oedema.
Preventing foot problems is essential if you have diabetes. Undertaking regular self-checks and attending your annual foot check are the best way to prevent common foot problems from occurring.
Here are some ways that you can protect your feet in further detail:
If you have any further questions about any of the topics discussed above, please contact your diabetes registered healthcare professional.
At Spirit Pharmacy, we’re here to help people who live with diabetes get access to their medicines, helpful items, and expert advice. We offer a friendly NHS prescription free home delivery service, alongside lots of additional services and support, especially tailored for people living with diabetes.
Please note, this article is not intended to be individual healthcare advice. Always follow specific advice relating to your condition given to you by your doctor, pharmacist, diabetic nurse, or dietician.
*Information correct at time of issue – March 2022