Diabetic Foot Care Sydney
Diabetes can have several different effects on the feet, which can be dangerous if left untreated. Your feet can be the focal point of major diabetic complications should this part of your body not be regularly attended to. Our North Sydney Podiatrists have over 35 years of experience in treating people with diabetes and ensuring your feet are cared for properly to prevent any problems.
How Does Diabetes Affect the Feet
Diabetics often have poorly controlled blood glucose levels (BGL). Over time, these high glucose levels cause problems throughout the body, and two of those problems affect the feet specifically.
Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)
The first diabetic foot problem is neuropathy. If diabetes damages the nerves, you may lose sensation in your feet. This means you won’t be able to tell if your feet are too hot or too cold. More worryingly, you may not feel if your feet get injured. Being unable to detect even small injuries may lead to infection, and in some cases, amputation may be required.
Damage to the Blood Vessels
The second problem is peripheral vascular disease. High glucose levels over time can damage your circulatory system, which causes reduced blood flow to the feet. Without proper circulation, your body’s ability to repair any damage, heal cuts or fight off infection is impaired.
Preventive Diabetic Foot Care
Diabetics are more at risk of foot problems, which is why you must regularly visit a podiatrist that specialises in diabetic foot care. Poorly managed diabetes can lead to serious foot complications. Our team of highly qualified podiatrists will help you to maintain healthy feet by doing a diabetic foot assessment, treating any existing problems and providing a proactive care regime.
What’s Involved In A Diabetic Foot Exam?
Once diagnosed with diabetes podiatrists will become an integral member of your diabetes health care. A check-up usually lasts about 30 minutes and involves multiple assessments including:
Neurologic assessment - Testing Sensation
To test your sensation, we will perform reflex tests and measure your vibration and pressure sensitivity.
Vascular Assessment - Testing Blood Flow
Our specialist diabetic podiatrists will palpate major pulses in the feet & visually inspect for foot health which indicates the strength of blood flow through your foot vessels.
Diabetes can result in many foot problems like abrasions, blisters, ingrown toenails, calluses and ulcers. We will thoroughly check the skin, nails, foot function and shape and your current footwear. In your consultation, depending on the problems we find, we will provide treatments such as ingrown toenail surgery or custom orthotics to distribute pressure evenly.
Following the assessment, we will formulate a preventive diabetes treatment plan based on your risks and advise on how frequently you will need to return for diabetic foot care checkups.
What to Bring to My Appointment
Please bring the following information to your appointment:
Relevant glucose level tests (HbA1c)
Endocrinologist or vascular reports
List of current medications & allergies
When Should You See a Diabetic Podiatrist?
You should visit a podiatrist twice per year for an assessment if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. However, you should see a podiatrist straight away if you have any of the following problems.
Broken skin between your toes
Foot shape changes
Nail colour changes
Bruising & cuts
Don’t Neglect Your Feet
If you have diabetes, you need a competent diabetic podiatrist to keep an eye on your condition and treat problems as they arise. Trust North Sydney Podiatry, book your next checkup by calling (02) 9954 3445 or filling out our booking form.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can a Podiatrist Help a Diabetic?
Diabetics should see a podiatrist as soon as they are diagnosed. A diabetic podiatrist will advise on preventive measures such as appropriate footwear, orthotics and other essential advice to help manage your feet health.
How Often Should a Diabetic See a Podiatrist?
The National Diabetes Health Care Guidelines recommend seeing a diabetic podiatrist at least every 12 months but we recommend twice per year so changes in circulation and/or nerves of your feet can be detected and footwear can be assessed.
Does It Matter What Type of Diabetes I Suffer From?
It doesn’t matter if you suffer from either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. You will need still need to see a podiatrist regularly.
Is Diabetic Foot Care Covered by Medicare?
If you see a GP, they will provide you with a primary care plan. This will allow a medicare rebate on five diabetic podiatry treatments per year. Please note that only a portion of the total cost is rebated by Medicare.