People with diabetes may suffer from decreased sensation in their feet and decreased blood circulation. It is important to know if you have decreased sensation in your feet and circulation problems as you are at greater risk of suffering from foot ulcers. Therefore, make a habit of taking care of your feet and checking them every day. Pay attention to redness, dry skin, hard skin (calluses), cracks, swellings and changes in the condition of your nails. Also, ask your doctor to check the condition of your feet at your next visit if you are unsure.
There are two complications that may affect you if you have diabetes, angiopathy and neuropathy.
With angiopathy, vascular damage occurs due to high blood sugar levels, which can damage the walls of the capillaries. If high levels of LDL cholesterol are present in the blood, the blood vessels can become blocked and this may increase the risk. If your blood circulation is poor and you incur a wound, it is more difficult for the body to heal the wound, which may mean that you have trouble with recurring wounds that take a long time to heal. Therefore, check your feet on a daily basis so that you discover any problems in time.
Neuropathy is the most common problem with type 2 diabetes and is a complication of diabetes. It means that the peripheral nerves have become damaged. A high blood sugar level is the biggest risk factor and high blood sugar levels over many years greatly increase the risk of neuropathy. Neuropathy can affect any of the nerves in the body, but as the nerves serving the feet are very long, the feet are usually the first part of the body to be affected. Just like with angiopathy, regularly checking your feet is a good way to detect and treat any problems that may occur as a result of neuropathy.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases in UK. In total, 6-8% of the adult population has diabetes and the cost to society is estimated at £14 billion per year. It is the complications of the disease that are the most costly and foot care is a part of that. It’s estimated that 2-2.5% of the diabetes population has foot ulcers at any given time. The current guidelines for diabetes care have highlighted the importance of preventive foot care. Take care of your feet!
Together we can make a difference!