Diabetes


Overview

Diabetes is a metabolic disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin that it produces. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood, which can cause damage to organs, blood vessels, and nerves.

Foot and ankle complications of diabetes are influenced by many factors including peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, infection, and minor traumas.

Condition

Foot complications from diabetes can be life altering. Loss of sensation, poor circulation can lead to open ulcers and in severe cases infection and amputation.

Symptoms & Sign

An increased thirst or hunger with excessive urination, fatigue, blurred vision, headaches and fatigue are all warring signs of diabetes. Seeing your physician if these signs are present is recommended.

Treatment

The objectives of pedorthic care for the diabetic foot is to relieve areas of excessive plantar pressures and reduce shock. Also reduce shear or horizontal movement of the foot within the shoe while accommodating deformities.

Symptoms & Cause

Foot and ankle complications of diabetes are influenced by peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease, infection, and minor trauma.

For people with diabetes neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease (PVD), minor trauma to the foot can potentially lead to skin ulcerations, infections, and ultimately gangrene, resulting in lower extremity amputations.

With peripheral neuropathy the loss of sensation in the toes or whole foot increases the risk unknown skin breakdown or trauma.

PVD reduces blood flow to the legs and feet by impairing circulation to these regions. This in turn decreases the blood flow that help wounds to heal.

Pedorthic Treatment

Patients are often referred to a pedorthist by their physician to lessen the chances of complications they may develop in their feet. Diabetes can increase the chance of wounds when the patient is unaware of trauma.

The objectives of pedorthic care for the diabetic foot is to relieve areas of excessive plantar pressures, reduce shock and shearing. Also to control horizontal movement of the foot within the shoe and accommodate deformities. To do this involves stabilizing and supporting both fixed and flexible deformities, limit motion of unstable joints, and educate patients regarding proper shoe selection and fit.  Often custom foot orthotics are utilized for this treatment.

If you have diabetes and experience any of the above, you should consult your physician for a proper diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

 

Your doctor may refer you to OKAPED to see a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for Pedorthic management of your diabetic foot problems. This may include orthopaedic footwear, shoe selection guidance, orthotics and/or foot related products such as a metatarsal pad. If you know your condition and want to learn about new products and treatments please give us a call.

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