Diabetic Foot

Diabetes Mellitus is a serious disease that can develop from the lack of insulin production in the body or due to the inability of the body's insulin to perform its normal everyday functions. Insulin is a substance produced from the Pancreas gland that helps process the food we eat and turn into energy.

Diabetes is classified into 2 different types: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is usually associated with juvenile diabetes and is often linked through heredity. Type 2, commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes, is characterized by elevated blood sugars, often by people who are overweight or have not attended to their diet properly.

There are often many complications associated with diabetes. Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body such as the eyes, kidneys, legs and feet. People with diabetes should pay special attention to their feet. The Canadian Medical Association recommends that every Canadian who has been diagnosed with diabetes see a Chiropodist or Podiatrist for a foot exam on a yearly basis. The Foot Clinic receives several referrals from the Canadian Diabetes Association and physicians per week for newly diagnosed patients with diabetes.

Foot problems encountered with Diabetes


Diabetic foot conditions develop from a combination of causes including poor circulation and Neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat and cold. Diabetics suffering from Neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes and Charcot Feet.

It is very important for diabetics to take the necessary precautions to prevent all foot related injuries. Due to the consequences of Neuropathy daily observation of the feet is critical. When a diabetic patient takes the necessary preventive foot care measures it reduces the risks of serious foot conditions.

Poor Circulation

Diabetes often leads to peripheral vascular disease which inhibits a person's blood circulation. With this condition there is a narrowing of the arteries that leads to significantly decreased circulation in the lower part of the legs and the feet. Poor circulation contributes to diabetic foot problems by reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrition supplied to the skin and other tissue, therefore causing injuries to heal poorly. Poor circulation can also lead to swelling and dryness of the foot. Preventing foot complications is more critical for the diabetic patient since poor circulation impairs the healing process and can lead to ulcers, infection and other serious foot conditions.



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