Diabetes & Feet

Don’t allow diabetes and its foot related problems to immobilise you!




A pair of shoes next to the word 'diabetes' painted on grassDiabetes is a big problem in New Zealand as well as around the world!

Kinds of Diabetes:

Type I:
Auto-immune, abrupt symptomatic onset
Type II:
85-90% of NZ diabetes – slow onset, often with obesity and inactivity most important risk factors FOE – fight the obesity epidemic (www.foe.org.nz).


If the Diabetes goes undiagnosed or is poorly treated then the high blood glucose levels cause complications throughout the whole body affecting:

  • Heart
  • Kidney
  • Eyes
  • Feet
  • Circulation
  • Nerves

Diabetes and Feet:

Around half of all non-traumatic lower limb amputations in NZ are due to Diabetes complications. That is a lot of unnecessary amputations!!
When it comes to diabetes and feet – prevention is the goal.
Most foot problems in people with diabetes occur when injuries – and often infections – go unnoticed and untreated due to nerve damage, or when healing is delayed due to poor circulation.

To Prevent problems:

  • Protect your feet from injury.
  • Inspect your feet every day (we can show you how).

The feet are affected because the circulation and sensation are often reduced.
Sensation – the pain response may be lost in the feet meaning you cannot feel if there is something wrong with your foot, eg. Cut, foreign object in your shoe etc.
Circulation – Arteries delivering blood to the feet can get blocked and cause achy legs and wounds that do not heal

Diabetic feet and Waikato Podiatry Clinic:

Andrew and his colleagues at Waikato Podiatry Clinic are experts at assessing the foot of someone with Diabetes and checking on any signs (risk factors) which may indicate future problems.

Some of the signs and risk factors include:

  • Loss of feeling (neuropathy)
  • Peripheral arterial disease (loss of pulses)
  • Foot deformity (bunions, claw toes etc)
  • Plantar callouses and corns Wounds on the feet
  • Previous problems or amputations


The Waikato Podiatry team have dealt with diabetic ulcerations and foot problems in Specialist Hospital Clinics as well as private practice for over 10 years. Our modern techniques and experienced staff will ensure you receive the best care available.

Australasian National Diabetes Health Care Guidelines recommends people with Diabetes have their feet checked by a Podiatrist at least every 12 months.

Further reference: Ministry of Health, NZ Guidelines Group www.nzgg.org.nz

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