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For Feet sake!

What's your family's risk of a foot ulcer?

This year’s World Diabetes Day is all about the important role family plays in caring for those living with diabetes. Knowing and caring for your feet is an important part of managing diabetes but can be easily overlooked until a foot ulcer presents. The good news is that with annual foot assessments and some simple self-care many people with diabetes will never get foot ulcers and their more serious complications, such as infections and amputations. And in even better news, your family can also play a role in helping take care of your feet.

Global Stats show...

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1 in 11 people worldwide are currently living with diabetes

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2 in 3 people wouldn't know how to care for a family member with diabetes

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Globally, every 1.2 seconds someone develops a diabetes foot ulcer

Is someone in your family one of the 1.3 million Aussies with diabetes?

Then the question is...do you know what your family's foot risk is?

One of the 300,000 Aussie families at risk of a foot ulcer or amputation?

The foot risk factors are poor foot feeling called “peripheral neuropathy” or poor foot circulation called “peripheral artery disease”. 

One of the 1 million Aussie families not at risk of a foot ulcer or amputation?

At your last annual foot assessment you were advised you didn't have risk factors or a foot ulcer.

Don't know?

Find out by booking a foot risk assessment with your GP or podiatrist today.

By having an annual foot risk assessment, you’ll find out your family’s foot risk and how to care for your family’s long term foot health at home.

It’s quick, easy and painless and it could make all the difference for the sake of yours or a family member’s feet.

Does your Family have a risk of foot ulcers?

If a family member has foot risk factors of poor foot feeling called “peripheral neuropathy” or poor foot circulation called “peripheral artery disease”, there are simple ways to help them with their feet at home.

1 Foot Assessment

Stay up-to-date with your foot assessment appointments. It’s important that all people
with diabetes have at least a yearly foot assessment and understand what their foot risk status is for getting a foot ulcer. But for those with risk factors or foot ulcers, more regular care and foot checks are required so make sure you know and keep your foot plan handy.

2 Manage Blood sugar

Control your blood sugar levels as best you can. High blood sugar levels for long periods of time gives you a much higher chance of developing risk factors of poor feeling (peripheral neuropathy) or poor circulation (peripheral artery disease). So controlling your sugars is not only good for the sake of your health but also good for the sake of your feet.

3 Daily Foot Check

Help with your daily foot check. If you find out you have risk factors then you should check for ulcers, sores, cuts, redness, new calluses, new bruises and any other signs of damage to your feet every day. Check underneath and on top of your feet and don’t forget between your toes. Ask a family member for help if you have trouble reaching or seeing your feet.

4 act on warning signs

Know the warning signs for your feet and act. For people with risk factors or ulcers, this is critical and time plays an important role in preventing things getting much worse. So if you notice a new ulcer, sore, cut, redness, pain or swelling make an appointment with your doctor today!

5 focus on footweAR

Make sure you wear shoes that protect your feet and not damage your feet. When shoes don’t fit well or are too tight, callus and blisters may result which can become ulcers in people with risk factors. Socks should also be worn within footwear to reduce rubbing.

avoid hot & cold

Avoid hot and cold temperatures. For people with risk factors for foot ulcers, the nerves in their feet may not be too good at telling if things are hot, cold or painful, so it’s very important to protect your feet if you have risk factors. Avoid exposure to hot pavements, sunburn, heaters, and hot water. Avoid exposure to the cold and very cold water.

Can you feel it?

When you have diabetes, you’re more at risk of nerve damage. This is because high blood sugar levels can damage the nerves to your feet. The damaged nerve function is called neuropathy, and up to half of all people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy.

Neuropathy results in either pain, tingling, weakness or reduced sensation in the feet and lower limbs. A loss of sensitivity in the feet often leads to an abnormal walking pattern causing increased pressure in certain areas of the foot. The development of callus can be an sign of too much pressure being applied to the foot and continuing to walk on this ‘insensitive foot’ increases the likelihood of ulcers forming if not treated early. 

Because of the loss of sensation in the foot, you're less likely to notice when you have injured your foot as you may not feel the pain. This means they are less likely to notice and treat an injury, allowing it to progress to a more serious, advanced stage such as a foot ulcer. A foot ulcer is a wound occurring on the foot, commonly caused by a lack of sensation and/or poor blood supply. 

Did you know...

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A small injury in those with risk factors can become a foot ulcer 

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Men are 3 times more likely than women to suffer from a foot ulcer 

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Foot ulcers are the leading cause of amputation in Australia

Easy steps to care for your at-risk Feet

Check for foot changes

A foot ulcer is an unpleasant experience, that will need regular attention and often takes months to heal. So a little time spent preventing an ulcer will save a lot of time spent healing an ulcer. If you notice an injury or ulcer on your foot, we recommend seeking advice from your doctor as soon as possible. Prompt treatment gives you to best chance of preventing a foot ulcer or healing it faster. 

Print off handy guides

The front of the fridge isn't just for photos and bills. It's also a handy spot to remind the family about your daily foot check and the steps involved to easily take care of your feet. Check out the handy guides below that you can print off today! 

Involve family at home

Make sure your family is educated about your risk factors and aware of your daily foot care routine. If you have problems with seeing or reaching your feet, ask a family member to be involved your daily foot care routine. 

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