Around 70 Australians a week have limbs or toes amputated because of diabetes related complications – that’s 1 person every 2-3 hours!
Australia has the second highest rate of diabetic related amputations in the developed world. The most recent figures suggest that there are 8,000 lower limb amputations performed each year in Australia.
Podiatrists play a key role in preventing foot and leg amputations caused by Diabetes. Your podiatrist is here to help educate and assess your feet and legs for possible risks and is an important part of your whole diabetes care plan.
Why is it important to get your feet checked?
People with diabetes have an increased risk of damage to their nerves and blood circulation. Your feet are furthest from your heart and contain a lot of small blood vessels which are often the first body part to show signs of complications caused by diabetes. Nerve damage and poor circulation delay the healing of the body when it is under attack (cuts/ bruises). This places diabetics at an increased risk of developing foot ulcers, and when not cared for appropriately, in severe cases may lead to amputations.
If you notice any of the below symptoms, it could be a sign of a diabetes related complication and you should have a review with your podiatrist for a diabetic foot assessment.
Nerve damage can appear as the following symptoms:
o Coldness in legs
o Pins & needles
o Burning pain
Poor blood supply can appear as the following symptoms:
o Leg cramps
o Pain in feet (even at rest)
o Feet feel cold
o Reddish/blue feet colour
o Delayed healing of cuts