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Diabetes and foot problems

Having diabetes means you’re at much greater risk of developing foot problems. But understanding how diabetes affects feet can help you avoid these complications.

Raised blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar, can damage the sensation in your feet. 

This can also affect your circulation, which can lead to you getting less blood supply to your feet. Without a good blood supply you may have problems with cuts and sores healing. You may also get cramps and pain in your legs or feet. 

If you don’t get these foot problems treated, they could lead to foot ulcers, infections and, at worst, amputations. Most foot problems can be prevented with good, regular footcare.

During the coronavirus pandemic, some of your routine appointments might be postponed or happening in a different way to usual. We've got more information on what to expect at the moment.  

In the meantime, follow your current routine including checking your feet daily, keep to a healthy diet and try to keep active. If you spot something new you're concerned about, like a cut or blister on your foot, call your GP straight away and explain your situation. If you can't get through, call 111 for advice. 

If you're already having treatment for a foot problem and you don't have coronavirus symptoms, then your appointments should still carry on. If you're worried about going to your clinic or hospital at this time or want to check whether your appointment is still going ahead, contact your diabetes team or call the number on your appointment letter.

If you do experience a foot problem, make sure you speak to someone straight away.

Contact your GP or foot protection team immediately or go to your nearest out-of-hours healthcare service if your GP or foot protection team aren't available.

It's also really important to take the weight off your foot. If it's serious, it's likely you'll need a course of antibiotics and your feet will be covered with a dressing.

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