BLOG - HAVE YOU HAD YOUR ANNUAL DIABETIC ASSESSMENT? 

Consistent monitoring of your diabetes is key in early detection of lower limb problems that can escalate quickly; a cut can become infected due to high blood glucose levels. 
 
A crack in the skin can become fungal which can become chronic and painful and peripheral neuropathy can mean that you are unaware of the problem. 
 
Diabetes is a chronic illness that needs regular monitoring by the person and a multi-disciplinary team including a podiatrist. It develops if the body becomes resistant to insulin or the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin. This causes an increase in blood glucose levels as the job of insulin is to move glucose from the blood stream into your cells. 
 
 
Why does diabetes affect my feet? 
 
Increased blood sugar levels can cause high blood pressure and narrowing of the blood vessels and as the legs are the farthest part of your body from your heart the blood vessels in your feet can be the first to be affected. Likewise, the long nerves that reach your feet can be the first to be damaged by high blood sugar levels. 
 
Ideally people living with Diabetes will attend a podiatrist regularly (every 6-8 weeks) for foot and nail care and self-care is important here too. 
 
Top 8 ways to look after your feet from DiabetesUK 
• Get help to quit smoking 
• Check your feet every day 
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay active 
• Watch out cutting your nails 
• Make sure your footwear fits 
• Use moisturising cream every day 
• Don’t use blades or corn plasters 
• Get expert advice [from your podiatrist] 
 
What is an Annual Diabetic Assessment and why do I need one? 
Once a year it is important to have an annual Podiatric Diabetic Assessment this includes a vascular and neurological assessment. A medical history, case history and visual assessment is also part of this, the report of which allows important monitoring of your Diabetes and the results are communicated with your GP. 
 
The vascular assessment is called an ABPI (Ankle Brachial pressure Index) this is a test which measures the arterial circulation (blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart) in your legs. 
 
During your neurological assessment, your Podiatrist will test several areas on your feet to assess the sensory threshold using a 10mg monofilament and sharp/blunt tip. They will also measure your vibration threshold using a Vibratip®. 
 
So what? 
Consistent monitoring of your diabetes is key in early detection of lower limb problems that can escalate quickly; a cut can become infected due to high blood glucose levels, a crack in the skin can become fungal which can become chronic and painful and peripheral neuropathy can mean that you are unaware of the problem. Unfortunately, in patients with diabetes ulcerations and amputations are all too common and this is why it is important that you and your team are aware if you are what we term an ‘at risk’ patient. 
 
If you have been to us before and would like an Annual Diabetic Assessment – book in with Julie Ann here https://stride-clinic.au1.cliniko.com/bookings#service 
 
If you have not been to us before you will need to book in for an Initial Consultation with one of our podiatrists first https://stride-clinic.au1.cliniko.com/bookings#service 
 
 
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