High blood glucose levels can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the legs and feet causing loss of feeling (e.g. peripheral neuropathy), dry cracked skin, and a change in the way of walking. Patients might not even notice a foot injury until it causes a serious sore or infection. Poor blood flow (peripheral vascular disease) causes cold feet and increases the risk of infection or ulceration. Peripheral neuropathy is the main cause of diabetic foot ulcers (the number one reason why a diabetic patient is admitted to hospital) and will, according to the literature, affect up to 60% of the diabetic patients. Approximately 25% of diabetic patients will develop a foot ulcer and 50% of those ulcers will become infected with increased risk of amputation.
The Foot Clinic offers complete care for the various conditions that affect the lower extremities of people with diabetes. The team consisting of a Podiatrist and Foot nurses is offering both education, diagnosis, preventive and curative treatment for patients with diabetes related foot problems. Although currently not operating at full capacity, the clinic includes six treatment stations for diabetic foot patients, serving as one of the first specialized diabetes foot clinics in the UAE. Prevention, early detection and treatment of ulcers to avoid amputation are the main objective of the foot clinic. This improves the quality of life for the patients and significantly reduces the burden on the health care system that otherwise would be associated with this complication.