Know the risk factors
Eight main factors boost your chance of developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), says Diabetic Living podiatrist Danielle Veldhoen. They are:
1. Advancing age
2. Having diabetes for more than 15 years
3. Diabetic retinopathy (damage to your eyes)
4. Poor glycaemic control
5. High blood pressure
8. Albuminuria (having too much protein in your urine as a result of kidney disease)
Recognise the symptoms
While some people experience numbness, coldness, weakness, pins and needles, or burning in their feet and legs, others don’t have any symptoms at all. ‘This is why assessments every six to 12 months with a GP or podiatrist are important,’ says Veldhoen.
Your prevention plan
· Wash and moisturise your feet every day.
· Inspect your feet regularly, checking for cuts, redness or swelling. If you spot a problem that doesn’t heal in 24 hours, see a GP or podiatrist.
· Wear well-fitting socks and comfortable shoes.
· Aim to stay in a healthy weight range and keep your blood glucose levels steady. Having good blood glucose control can cut your risk of DPN by up to 60 per cent.