Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diabetes can be referred to as a chronic disease characterised by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

There are a number of different types of diabetes  and a number of different reasons why someone may get diabetes. There are two main types:

Good Blood Glucose Control

Diabetes team do a HbA1c checkAs far as diabetic foot disease is concerned it does not matter which type you have. If your blood glucose (sugar) is high the effects on your feet are the same.

The Diabetes team will regularly measure the amount of glucose in your blood using a test called HbA1c. This will give a guide to what your average blood glucose levels are over a 3 month period. Normal HbA1c is 48mmol/mol (6.5%) or below.

The results of your HbA1c lets the Diabetes team discuss changes to your care and medication. 

Your GP, Pharmacist or Practice nurse can support you to make changes to improve your blood glucose levels. You may also be referred to a Doctor who specialises in diabetes, a dietician for diet advice or to exercise classes. Click here for advice and resources from the Dietitians at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Foot Complications and Diabetes

  • Poor blood glucose control can damage the blood vessels, circulation and nerves in your feet and legs (and other parts of your body).
  • This damage can lead to ulceration or wounds on your feet which can lead to infection, hospitalisation and amputation.
  • High blood glucose (HbA1c) levels can also increase risk of infection which can slow down wound healing.
Soles of feet

Common Foot Complications for People with Ongoing High Blood Glucose

Diabetes and Poor Circulation

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Diabetes and Nerve Damage

Peripheral Neuropathy

The Importance of Regular Foot Care

YOU are the best person to check your feet daily, looking out for any changes in the skin, cuts or grazes. If you can’t reach or see your feet please ask someone to help you, like your family or carers.

Foot Wounds

Click below to find out about our Podiatry Wound Clinic

IMPORTANT – If you have a break in the skin or discharge (oozing) onto your socks or stockings or if you have a red, hot, swollen foot please contact Podiatry for an URGENT referral and/or an appointment, or your GP, Practice Nurse, Pharmacist or Private Podiatrist (HCPC registered).


If you have DIABETES and any of the ACT NOW symptoms please contact Podiatry on 02920 335 134/5, Monday – Friday, 09.00 – 12.00 or 13.30 – 16.00.

Your details will be taken and a Podiatrist will call you back.

A- Accident






New Pain

New Pain





More Support

Pocket Medic

Lots of videos about living with Diabetes, including how to look after your feet. ​ ​

The STANCE Diabetes Foot Health Education Sessions and booklet has been developed for Cardiff and Vale patients to give you the practical information you need to keep your feet healthy such as how to file your nails, how to identify foot problems with advice on how to manage them. 

Click here to access the free STANCE pack.

Keeping Me Well - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital

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