Why is it important to see a podiatrist if you are a diabetic? Diabetic patients have a greater predisposition to foot problems, such as neuropathy and ulcers. This is because their vascular and neurological systems are often compromised.
As part of a routine examination, a podiatrist will check the vascular and neurological status of a diabetic patient’s feet. Pulses are palpated (felt) to determine if viable circulation is present in the feet. Doppler and ABI tests use computers to quantify the circulation. CVI testing is used to discover the status of a diabetic patient’s veins. The results of these tests are shared with the diabetic patient and the endocrinologist, as caring for diabetic patients requires a team approach.
A diabetic patient’s neurological status needs to be periodically evaluated. Diabetic neuropathy, or a loss of the ability to feel your feet, is a potentially dangerous side effect of diabetes. A patient with compromised nerves could step on a sharp object and not even realize it.
Diabetics are, by their very nature, more brittle and more susceptible to infections, foot ulcers and amputations that could be life threatening if not treated in a timely manner. Every diabetic patient would be well served by having a skilled podiatrist periodically monitor their feet as part of their healthcare regimen.