Your podiatrist is the person you go to if you have any problems with your feet, but they don't normally form part of your routine healthcare. Unlike dentists and optometrists, most people only go to a podiatrist when there's a reason.
That's not usually a problem for the majority of people, but for diabetics, regular appointments with a podiatrist are essential. It's part of diabetic healthcare that's not always taken as seriously as others, but if you miss it out, you could develop serious problems. Here are some of the main reasons everyone with diabetes should have their feet checked regularly.
People with diabetes often have less effective blood circulation than those without it, and your feet are one of the body parts most affected by this.
Because of where they are on the body, your feet will significantly lack blood flow if your circulation is poor. This can result in a range of problems and, in extreme cases where the situation has been left without treatment, people sometimes lose limbs. Having the circulation to your feet tested and checked regularly lets you catch the problem early so you can treat it.
Likelihood of infection
Feet are prone to small cuts and other forms of damage, which are little more than an unpleasant annoyance in most cases. Diabetics, however, are more likely to develop infections, and you might not even be aware that you have one until it becomes severe.
It's difficult to spot damage to your own feet, and you may not even know for certain what you're looking for. A podiatrist can check for any signs of damage or early infection so the situation can be controlled.
Slow healing ability
In addition to the high risk of infection, people with diabetes have a weakened ability to heal. This is another reason to have a professional check your feet for issues, as small cuts that heal quickly on someone without diabetes can take much longer to show signs of improvement.
If it's left, damage to your feet has a high chance of getting worse and causing further problems over time and also increases your risk of infection even further.
Blood vessel and nerve damage
Because of the lack of circulation, your feet can develop damage to the blood vessels and nerves. This can lead to numbness, so you'll be less aware of the damage it's causing. It also means you may not notice cuts on your feet. Your podiatrist will be able to tell if this is happening, which lets you take extra precautions and adjust your lifestyle to keep your feet safe and healthy.