This National Diabetes Week we’re focusing on the importance of making time for the two hardest working appendages…your feet!
They walk us around all day, squeeze into uncomfortable shoes, take a knock here and there and rarely complain. But for people with diabetes, feet are also often over-looked as the management of other aspects of diabetes takes higher priority. And with 1.7 million Australians living with diabetes, and 50,000 Australians living with diabetic foot disease, it's about time to put our valuable feet first.
let's start with some Facts
Why even focus on feet? Well, where do you think diabetic foot disease ranks in the list of over 3000 health conditions that affect global disability? Top 1000, Top 100? Top 50? The alarming statistic is diabetes-related lower extremity complications now ranks in the Top 10, right up there with depression and lower back pain. When we take it a step further and compare with what most would consider common causes of disability like heart and kidney disease, it highlights how we need to improve these statistics by making time for our feet.
It's about time
to focus on
Protect Your Feet
Wear well-fitting footwear, both indoors and outdoors. This is important as you can easily injure your feet, by stepping on something hard or sharp, without realising (due to loss of sensation).
People with diabetes should always wear socks within their footwear to reduce rubbing. Socks should be made of mostly natural materials, should be seamless and shouldn't have elasticated cuffs.
Check your shoes
Never store things in your shoes, as injuries can result. Check inside shoes before putting them on, for small pebbles, foreign objects or rough stitching. Also check your feet when you take your shoes off.
Avoid ill-fitting shoes
When shoes don't fit well and are too tight, chafing and blisters may result. It's important for people with diabetes to wear footwear that fits and protects. Speak to a podiatrist to see if you require specialised insoles or custom-fitted footwear.
to act on
You have a current, untreated ulcer or your feet show any sign of injury that becomes red or isn’t healing.
Your feet have noticeable changes in sensitivity (or loss of sensation) or appearance.
You notice pain, swelling, throbbing, temperature changes in the feet (especially heat) or changes to skin colouration.
*Highlighted Statistics courtesy of Diabetes Australia