Lydia Kim from Brindabella Podiatry recently attended the 2017 Diabetic Foot Conference in Brisbane! This is what she¬†reported…

Diabetic Foot Australia recently held an international conference discussing the latest information on the influence of diabetes mellitus on feet and gold standard management strategies. As we know, diabetes is a widespread growing disease and according to Professor Nicholas Schaper, the scope of the problem is:

  • 9 to 26 million patients worldwide with a diabetic foot ulcer
  • Minor amputations approx. 20%
  • Lower limb amputation approx. 5%
  • Mortality 5 years after amputation

How does Diabetes Mellitus affect your feet?

  1. Reduction in sensory nerve feedback = High plantar foot pressure
  2. Impaired tissue perfusion = Poor circulation and healing capacity
  3. Impaired immunity resulted by reduced circulation = Increase risk of infection

All 3 aspects can lead to serious complications such as ulceration, superficial and deep tissue infection, ischaemia and amputation.

So what are these gold standard management strategies???

: PREVENTION, MONITORING AND CONTROLLING!

  1. PREVENTION
  • Have a podiatrist perform regular diabetic foot assessments.
  • Assessments involve vascular, neurological, musculoskeletal and dermatological.
  1. Low risk diabetic = Annual assessments.
  2. Moderate risk diabetic = 6 monthly assessments.
  3. High risk diabetic = 3 to 4 monthly assessments.
  • Always wear supportive and protective shoes especially when walking.
  • Moisturise daily to keep your skin strong and protected
  1. MONITOR
  • Check your feet nightly or weekly depending on your risk status.
  • Feel the soles of your feet and the toes including in between.
  • See a podiatrist if you have difficulties caring for your feet.
  1. CONTROL
  • Consider orthotic therapy
  1. Deflect and offload high-pressureareas e.g. callous and corns.
  2. Minimise any risk of ulceration!
  3. Reduce pain and discomfort
  • Get a podiatrist to remove and control the callous and corn build up.
  • For any wound infections, see a podiatrist immediately to control and manage the infection.

 

In a nutshell, the best management approach for diabetic feet is to PREVENT, MONITOR and CONTROL any complications associated with diabetes mellitus. See a podiatrist and start to see the kind of significant improvements we can achieve. By doing so, we can really enhance the quality of living, life expectancy and prolong a healthier well-being for those affected by diabetes.