Foot problems in those with diabetes is becoming more serious and almost reaching epidemic proportions. The reason for this high number of foot problems in those with diabetes is because the diabetes affects the nerves and the circulation to the foot. In the nerves there is reduced sensation, so that when damage is done to the foot it is not detected or felt. With regards to the circulation, this is quite substantially reduced in those with diabetes. Put these two together and it means that damage is not detected so it is generally much more severe by the time it is seen, and because of the circulation the healing from that damage is poor. This means that wounds and sores in those with diabetes easily get infected and can be quite severe. In the worst case this may even mean an amputation because the wound will not heal. Those with diabetes need to take considerable care of their feet to, firstly, prevent these problems and then, secondly, if a problem happens to detected promptly so it can be given attention.
In order to protect the foot those with diabetes need to have good fitting shoes so that damage is less likely to happen. They need to inspect the foot every day for any damage that has happened. It is also advised that those with diabetes regularly see a podiatrist to have the foot checked and any potential problems dealt with. There are a number of things that people with diabetes can do to check the sensation, such as the Ipswich touch test. The Ipswich touch test involves lightly touching the end of the first, third, and fifth toes to see if the finger touching the toe can be felt. If you cannot feel a finger touching the end of the toe, then you are considered to be at quite a high risk for the development of foot problems and need to put all the precautions in place to prevent these from getting any worse or happening in the first place.