What is diabetic foot and how can you spot it?

We look at one of the lesser known complications of diabetes.

Diabetic foot is a complication of diabetes which isn’t much talked about.

It can lead to lower limb amputations, but steps can be taken to limit the onset and impact of diabetic foot.

What is diabetic foot?

NHS choices explains that “diabetes can reduce the blood supply to your feet and cause a loss of feeling known as peripheral neuropathy”.

This can lead to people with diabetes injuring their feet without realising, and those injuries healing poorly because of the lack of blood flow.

In particularly bad circumstances, amputation can become necessary.

What are the symptoms?

These are the symptoms Neil says to watch out for, and to see your podiatrist and/or GP about:

  • Walking becomes more difficult
  • Applying or wearing shoes becomes more difficult
  • Tingling sensation or pins and needles
  • Part or all of your foot becomes swollen
  • Breaks in the skin, opens sores/blisters or a discharge
  • Skin colour changes (redder, bluer, paler, blacker) over part or all of the foot
  • Swelling in your feet and/or an unusual odour
  • Part or all of your foot feels much hotter or colder than usual
  • Hard skin (callus)
  • Cramp in your calves
  • Shiny smooth skin and/or losing hair on your feet and legs

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