Not all people with diabetes develop foot problems. In many cases
serious problems can be prevented by an understanding of what can
happen to feet and how to take care of them.
High blood glucose can cause feet and
What are the types of diabetic foot problems?
People with diabetes are more prone to infection. They can also
develop neuropathy (damaged nerves) or peripheral vascular disease
(blocked arteries) of the legs and either can lead to foot ulceration.
Infection and foot ulceration, alone or in combination, often lead to
amputation. Neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease can also cause
distressing pain in the lower limbs.
Can diabetic foot problems be prevented?
Theoretically, if diabetes is well controlled it should be possible
to avoid these foot problems. However, as it is not always possible to
achieve good diabetic control and as severe neuropathy and peripheral
vascular disease cannot be easily reversed, many people with diabetes
are at risk of developing foot problems. Therefore it is important to
know how best to minimize the risk of foot problems and how best to
What are the steps that can be taken to prevent or treat foot
Good diabetic control is always helpful. However, by itself, it is
often not enough.
For people with diabetes who have not yet developed active infection or
ulceration, our foot care technicians grades the degree of risk and then
provides them with appropriate foot care education to minimize the
risk of developing active foot problems.
For people already with infection or ulceration,
our podiatrists and general surgeons urgently treats the infection and heal the ulcer. The treatment
required for ulceration due to neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease
may be quite different. Therefore it is necessary to distinguish the
For people with pain, the important thing is to determine whether it is
due to neuropathy or vascular disease because the treatment is again