People with diabetes are at risk of developing foot problems because diabetes can damage the nerve (feeling or sensation) and blood vessels in your feet. In most cases, you can avoid these problems by checking your feet daily and having a foot check at least every year by your GP practice.
Diabetes leads to approx. 28 hospitalisations and 12 amputations per day! That is one amputation every second hour. Doing your own checks and attending your annual foot check with your GP helps with early preventions. Know the signs and talk to your GP or healthcare professional.
Every person with diabetes should have their feet checked every year by their GP practice even if they see a podiatrist regularly or a specialist high-risk foot clinic.
Your healthcare team will discuss your results and your risk of developing a foot problem.
What to expect at your annual diabetes foot check
A diabetes foot check is usually undertaken at your GP practice by your healthcare team and is part of your annual diabetes cycle of care.
You will need to take off your shoes, socks or stockings so that they can:
- Check your whole foot. They will be looking for ulcers, hard skin, changes in foot shape, dry skin or cracks.
- Test for the sensation and blood flow to your feet.
- Check your footwear. Ill-fitting footwear can cause wounds to your feet, so it is important to make sure your shoes fit properly, are protecting your feet and not causing any problems.
You will be asked lots of questions about your feet and how you manage your diabetes:
- Have you had an ulcer or amputation due to your diabetes?
- Are you taking medications or are on dialysis for chronic kidney disease?
- Have you had any operations to your legs or feet to improve the blood flow?
- Do you get any discomfort in your feet or legs during the day or night?
- Do your feet feel very cold and are hard to warm up?
- Do you experience unusual sensations in your feet and legs? Pins and Needles, numbness, or shooting pains?
- Do you or does someone else check your feet every day?
- How has your Diabetes been recently?