Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to produce or does not produce enough insulin for the body. Diabetes has the potential to affect many systems of the body, so it is important to visit a range of health professionals on a regular basis.
There are a range of health care providers to help in the management of diabetes, and they include a general practitioner, endocrinologist, diabetes educator, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, pharmacist, exercise physiologist and dietician.
A Podiatrist will assess 2 main things when you present for a diabetic assessment:
- The blood flow to your feet
- The nerves in your feet (how well you can feel things)
Diabetes can cause a reduced amount of blood flow to your feet and toes and it can also cause the feet to go numb. This means that you may not feel a small cut or blister on your foot, and because there is not enough blood flow to heal the small sore, it can become infected and turn into a much bigger wound very quickly. If an infection spreads to the bone, an amputation may be required.
Your podiatrist will also provide you with some in-depth education on how to look after your feet when you have diabetes. This will include how to tend to your own toenails, what type of footwear is best to you, what to look out for to prevent any future problems and how to do basic wound dressings at home to stop little problems from becoming big problems!