Footcare and diabetes: your essential guide

Diabetes is a major health issue in Canada – over nine million Canadians are living with either Type I or Type II diabetes, or prediabetes (high blood glucose levels)*.

When diagnosed early, diabetes is both treatable and manageable, and needn’t stop you doing the things you enjoy, from sports to socialising. However, it isn’t just about blood sugars and insulin; many newly-diagnosed diabetics don’t realise the impact the disease can have on various parts of their body, especially their feet.

Diabetes and blood sugar levels

When you have diabetes, your changing blood glucose level can cause damage to your nervous system, a condition known as neuropathy. This can result in you losing some feeling in your feet, and being less able to detect pain. So, if you injure your foot, you’re less likely to notice, be it a cut, a blister or a bruise.

Diabetes and foot health

Diabetes also results in reduced blood flow to your limbs, including your feet, so even the smallest cut or blister will take longer to heal up. Unless you keep an eye on your feet, ulcers can develop and get infected without you even being aware of the problem. Equally, your skin may become dry as your sweat glands don’t work as effectively.

Take care of your feet!

Luckily, the solution is really simple – take care of your feet! Always keep your feet warm, dry and clean, especially in the winter. Make it a routine to come in the front door, take off your boots or shoes, and pop on a clean pair of socks and cozy slippers for the evening. Remember to dry your boots thoroughly each night, and if they start to get a bit smelly, bring them to us for a professional anti-bacterial clean.

Create a home-made ‘foot care kit’ for your car, so it’s always close to hand. Buy a new wash bag (don’t use an old one) and pop in a clean, dry pair of cotton-rich socks, plus some foot talc and a microtowel (to dry feet).

If the skin on your feet is dry, applying a specially formulated foot moisturiser can help keep your feet supple and smooth; ask us for advice on the right type for your skin.

If you’ve got skin lesions or ulcers, and find it difficult to dress these yourself, our expert team can help. We’ll dress and treat skin lesions, ulcers and wounds, so you can be back on your feet again without lengthy waits at the doctor’s or at the hospital.

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, or want some advice to help someone who has, just give us a call. Hunt Footcare has been the leader in diabetic wound care, off-loading, and footwear advice for over 20 years. We were first to establish a high risk-diabetic clinic decades ago at St Joseph’s Health Care, long before diabetic footcare became fashionable! We were also the first to establish and provide on-site First Nations diabetic footcare and education in Southwestern Ontario.

What’s more, with three foot clinics in the area, we can often give you an appointment more quickly than other foot specialists.

  • London Foot Specialists (519) 432 3636
  • Ingersoll Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 485-1750
  • Stratford Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 271-8834

* Canadian Diabetes Association

Published On: December 12, 2014