Diabetes and foot health

Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body requiring daily management and self-care. 

If not managed appropriately Diabetes can have a significant impact on quality of life and may reduce life expectancy. 

Foot complications associated with diabetes are becoming more prevalent, and they are now the leading cause of hospitalisation for people with diabetes in Australia. 

Diabetics are unable to maintain healthy levels of glucose in the blood which contribute to long and short-term health complications.

Diabetes can be managed well but the potential complications are the same for type 1 and type 2 diabetes including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, limb amputation, depression, anxiety and blindness.


Diabetes and foot health symptoms

In type 1 diabetes, symptoms are often sudden and can be life-threatening; therefore, it is usually diagnosed quite quickly. In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs can go unrecognised.

Usually by the time symptoms are noticed, complications of diabetes may already be present.

Common symptoms include: 

  • Being more thirsty than usual

  • Passing more urine

  • Feeling tired and lethargic

  • Always feeling hungry

  • Having cuts that heal slowly

  • Itching, skin infections

  • Blurred vision

  • Unexplained weight loss (type 1)

  • Gradually putting on weight (type 2)

  • Mood swings

  • Headaches

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Leg cramps

Diabetes and foot health treatment

Diabetes affects different parts of the body in different ways, the role of our podiatry team is to manage and prevent serious conditions that can arise from this systemic disease.

A Diabetic foot assessment by one of our podiatrists is recommended to establish your foot health status. Our podiatrists will be able to perform simple tests to assess the sensation and vibration in your feet, determine the blood supply to your feet and identify any potential risk areas on your feet. Your podiatrist will then determine whether you need to return annually, or if you need to be seen more frequently.  Fortunately, most Diabetic related foot issues can be prevented with good foot care at home and regular checks with our podiatry team.