People with diabetes can be at risk of developing complications with their feet as a result of having high blood sugar levels. Hyperglycaemia leads to the accumulation of waste products that are broken down from sugars and have a detrimental affect on tissue healing. This predisposes to the development of ulcers on the feet, since areas that are traumatized have less capacity to heal. Parts of the foot that are under increased pressure, friction and loading are susceptible to injury. For example, the side of a toe that is continuously rubbing up against the seam of a shoe; the tissues will eventually breakdown with repetitive trauma, leading to a blister or an open wound. When the foot ulcerates, infection can set in ,which can spread quickly, effecting the underlying tendons and bones. With an infection in the bone (osteomyelitis) and spreading into the surrounding tissues (cellulitis), serious complications can arise, resulting in sepsis (blood poisoning), gangrene and loss of limbs.
Circulatory issues are also common in people with diabetes. Damage to the arteries and capillaries as a result of long standing, uncontrolled high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia); leads to serious complications including, heart disease, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy and renal problems.
Diabetic neuropathy is also a common problem affecting the feet in diabetes. This is a term used to describe loss of sensation in the extremities. Numbness in the feet can also predispose to injury, as it decreases the ability to detect pain signals, caused by rubbing and friction on the foot. This is one of the reasons people with diabetes need to have their feet checked regularly to assess for the signs and symptoms of diabetic foot disease.
Clinical tests can be carried out using a devise known as a monofilament to check sensation in the foot. A vascular Doppler scanner can be used to check the arterial blood supply to the feet.
Regular chiropody treatment to keep the nails trimmed and remove corns and callus, is very important to prevent any complications, especially in individuals with high risk diabetic foot problems.
45 min (initial consultation and treatment session) – £40
30 min (follow-up treatments) – £35