As you might be aware diabetes can affect both the circulation and sensation in your feet placing you at higher risk of complications such as infections, ulcers, or even in extreme cases, amputations. Under the right circumstances, circulation and sensation can change quickly and as such the doctors and the medical associations recommend that diabetic feet be checked at least every 6 months.
- Checking pulses for good pressure in the feet. Good blood flow to diabetic feet is vital. If needed a small ultrasound machine is placed against the blood vessels as a way of hearing for minor changes in the blood vessel and looking at the velocity of the blood through the artery.
- Minor blood vessels are also assessed by a quick pressure test (SVPFT)
- Visual inspection. Decreased circulation comes with it a number a visual clues such as varicose veins, thinned skin, changes in skin colour and temperature, loss of hairs on the toes and more. We check the feet for these visual clues to give us and idea of what might be going on under the surface.
- Pressure testing. Loss of this 10gram sensation in a diabetic is a strong warning that a person may cut or injury their feet without knowing it. With the clients eyes closed, we use a 10g monofilament to gently place pressure on different areas of the foot to determine if you can feel it or not.
- Vibration testing. Loss of vibration sensation is an early warning sign that there may be diabetic related changes occurring in the feet and often occurs before a loss of pressure. By placing a medical graded tuning fork we can determine how much vibration sensation you have lost, if any.
In addition to circulation and sensation testing we also check a number of risk factors that may contribute to the health of your feet. Smoking, cholesterol and health problems may contribute to the problems associated with diabetic feet. We also check for good eye site, flexibility, as well as your gait (the way you walk), calluses, nail problems and more for a thorough assessment.
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