Diabetes is a very complex and complicated medical condition. As it progresses it can become very detrimental to your overall health in a variety of different areas of the body and ways. In particular it can have a lasting effect on your feet.
Poor circulation caused by diabetes can mean that if you have a wound on your foot, it might take longer to heal as not as much blood is getting to the wound. Another very important effect of diabetes is that is can cause an individual to lose the sensation in their feet and without feeling in their feet it might become difficult to become aware of any wounds or potentially harmful ulcerations. When wounds or ulcerations are left untreated they can potentially lead to an infection and ultimately, to amputation.
Podiatrists have an extremely important role in assessing, treating, educating and helping the patient to maintain their diabetes to ensure that they are safe from an infection.
Patients with diabetes that don’t regularly see a podiatrist risk developing an infection in a wound that they may be unaware of. If they are unaware of the wound, they may be unaware if the infection and potentially may require an amputation to part of the foot.
Diabetics are eligible for up to 5 podiatry visits a year, which are funded by Medicare under the Enhance Primary Care plan which uses a multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of diabetes. This is something you need to discuss with your GP, in order to get a referral for funded treatment.