People with diabetes have a much greater risk of developing problems with their feet, due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation. So make sure you get a quality foot check from a properly trained person at least once a year.
To help you get the best out of your foot check, Diabetes UK has developed a short guide (PDF, 41KB) that explains what you should expect and gives you a space to record the results. You can also order a free copy from our shop.
This check usually takes place at your GP surgery as part of your diabetes annual review –
A quality annual foot check should involve the following:
- You should be asked to remove any footwear, including socks/stockings.
- Your feet should be examined – including looking for corns, calluses and changes in shape.
- Your feet should be tested for numbness or changes in sensation (‘neuropathy’) with a tuning fork or a fine plastic strand called a monofilament.
- You should be asked questions about your feet and diabetes management, such as:
- Have you noticed any problems or changes (eg cuts, blisters, broken skin or corns)?
- Have you had any previous foot problems or wounds?
- Have you experienced any pain or discomfort?
- How often do you check your feet, and what do you look for?
- Do you have any cramp-like pains when walking?
- How well are you managing your diabetes?
- Your shoes should also be checked to make sure they are not causing any problems to your feet.
- You should be told the results and your level of risk of foot problems.
- You should be given information about what your level of risk means and what to do next.
- You should get advice about how to look after for your feet at home, according to your level of risk. This will include a management/treatment plan.
- You should be given details about who to contact at the first sign of any new foot problem.
- You should be referred to the Foot Protection Service if your feet are at increased or high risk.
If you are not given this information – ask for it.