It’s World Diabetes Day on November 14, and this year Diabetes UK is hoping to raise awareness of Diabetic foot, a complication of the diseases which isn’t much talked about.

Diabetes UK notes that every week, diabetes leads to 140 lower limb amputations, but steps can be taken to limit the onset and impact of diabetic foot.

[Read more: 5 scents that can do wonders for your wellness]
 

Neil McAllister, director of Kinetic Podiatry Clinic says: “Preventing foot problems involves managing your diabetes well, controlling blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure and leading a healthy active lifestyle.

“By doing this you can prevent or slow down any changes to the nerves and blood vessels in your legs and feet. In addition, regular self-foot care is important such as moisturizing your feet to keep the skin supple and avoid ill-fitting shoes and socks.

“It is however important to get your feet checked at least annually by a specialist. However, if you notice any changes in your feet it is better to get them checked immediately and if needs be more frequently.”

[Read more: 5 hidden symptoms of diabetes]

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.

[Read more: 13 things you didn’t know about diabetes]

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

Visit www.kineticpodiatry.co.uk to find out more.