Foot problems can affect anyone who has diabetes, whether they are being treated with insulin, tablets non-insulin injections or diet and physical activity only.
People with diabetes are more likely to be admitted to hospital with a foot ulcer than with any other complication of diabetes. This is because diabetes may lead to poor circulation and reduced feeling in the feet. It is important to understand how foot problems develop and how they can be prevented or detected early so that they can be treated successfully.
Diabetes can affect your feet in many ways and this is assesed at your Annual Review. If you have no problems than your risk status will be low if you do have complications then your risk will increase and you will be referred to a specialist for treatment.
Low Risk - You have No foot problems
Moderate Risk - Your foot does not have full sensation or pulse or there is deformity or infection
High Risk - Your foot has severe deformity or other serious complication and you need to be urgently referred to a multidiciplinary diabetes team.
Daily Foot examination can help you towards healthy feet and make you aware of any problems.
Every year, everyone who has diabetes should attend a foot examination. This should involve the following:
Remember if you are not being asked to take your shoes and socks off then it doesn't count as a proper foot review. Download "What footcare to expect"
Sensitivity is an important way that the body can alert you to other problems. Sensations, like sharp pain or throbbing, can tell you when you may have damage to a part of your body. In the case of feet, pain could be due to a burn, blister or cut and because you feel it you can take prompt action and appropriate treatment.
"The Touch the Toes"* test is quick and easy, designed to assess sensitivity in your feet, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Please note that the Touch the Toes test is not a substitute for your annual foot review by an appropriately trained person.
*Officially known as the Ipswich Touch Test, which was designed by Gerry Rayman and the team at Ipswich Hospital. (Ref Diabetes UK)