Type 1 Diabetes & foot complication


October 4th, 2022

Type 1 Diabetes & foot complication

1. How Type 1 Diabetes can cause foot complication?

High blood glucose levels can seriously damage parts of the body and can lead to circulation and infection problems which can cause a loss of feeling in the feet or too much feeling like tingling and burning sensation.
If left untreated, these problems can cause foot injuries which do not heal well and a diabetic may not notice if their foot is sore or injured. This can lead to ulcers and infections and it could lead to amputations.

2. Spotting the signs of foot problems.

It’s recommended to help those with diabetes check their feet every day for the following signs and report it to your doctor:

  • Tingling sensation or pins and needles (like numbness)
  • Pain (burning)
  • A dull ache
  • Shiny, smooth skin on your feet
  • Hair loss on your legs and feet
  • Loss of feeling in your feet or legs
  • Swollen feet
  • Your feet don’t sweat
  • Wounds or sores that don’t heal
  • Cramp in your calves when resting or walking

But if you notice any of the following alarming changes, please contact a doctor immediately :

  • Changes in the colour and shape of your feet
  • Cold or hot feet
  • Blisters and cuts that you can see but don’t feel
  • Foul smell coming from an open wound

People with Type 1 Diabetes should also get a foot check up at least once a year to see if there are any changes with the nerves.
What is a foot check-up? A trained professional will check the legs and feet for any numbness, poor circulation, corns, calluses, nail problems and other conditions. They will discuss whether the person is at risk of developing any foot problems.

3. Tips to reduce the risk of foot problems.

  • Ensure to keep blood glucose level in the target range
  • Encourage people with diabetes to wear comfortable shoes that fit well
  • Keep feet clean and dry to avoid infection
  • Keep toenails trimmed
  • Encourage people with diabetes not to go barefoot outside to avoid cuts and grazes
  • Encourage exercise for 30 min per day


HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.

HelloType1 content is curated for the topics using information only taken from accredited sources such as the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and the International Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).

This content is then reviewed and adapted by a panel consisting of healthcare experts (e.g. endocrinologist, nutritionist, diabetes nurse, psychologist) and members of the South-East Asia T1D communities, helping ensure the information is appropriate in a local context.

Writers of HelloType1 content:
Anne-Charlotte Ficheroulle, Pharmacist, Digital Innovation Manager at A4D
Charlotte O’Brian Gore, Research assistant ImmunoEngineering, King’s College. UK

Content Reviewers – healthcare professionals:
Dr. May Ng, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Chief Medical Advisor A4D, UK
Dr. Yeow Toh Peng, Endocrinologist, Malaysia
Dr Jaturat Petchkul, Paediatric Endocrinologist, Thailand
Dianna Culbertson, Physician Assistant T1D care, US
Prof Dr Malene Iv, Endocrinologist, Kantha Bopha Hospital, Cambodia
Steffen Tange, Consultant Psychology, Denmark
Soe Nyi Nyi, Nutritionist, Myanmar
Lucas Lim, Dietician, Malaysia

Content Reviewers – people with Type 1 Diabetes:
Jerry Gore, Co-Founder A4D, Mountaineer, UK
Diana Maynard, T1D advocate, UK
Emelyne Carmen Ho, College Student, Malaysia
Molly Seal, College Student, UK

Content Reviewers – parents with T1D child:
Samantha Seal, Teacher, Thailand
Kim Than, Deputy Country Director – Plan International, Cambodia

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