I is for Ipswich Touch Test

March 8, 2015

The Ipswich Touch Test is a clinical test to test for a lack of sensation in those with diabetes. For the Ipswich Touch Test, you simply lightly touch the ends of the 1st, 3rd and 5th toes to see if they can feel them. if they can’t then there is a good chance that they have a loos of protective sensation.

The Ipswich Touch Test (ITT) is a screening tool used in diabetes care to assess the risk of peripheral neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes that affects the nerves, particularly in the feet. The test is named after Ipswich, a town in the United Kingdom where it was developed.

The Ipswich Touch Test is a simple and non-invasive procedure that evaluates the loss of protective sensation in the feet. Here’s how it is typically performed:

  1. The patient is seated comfortably, and their shoes and socks are removed.
  2. The healthcare professional uses a 10-gram monofilament, which is a thin nylon thread, to apply pressure to specific areas on the soles of the patient’s feet.
  3. The monofilament is gently pressed against the skin until it bends. It is then held in place for about one second before being released.
  4. The patient is asked to indicate whether they can feel the monofilament touching their foot at each tested area.
  5. The healthcare professional records the responses, noting the areas where the patient can feel the touch (positive response) and where they cannot (negative response).

The purpose of the Ipswich Touch Test is to identify areas of decreased or absent sensation in the feet, which may indicate peripheral neuropathy. Loss of sensation can make a person with diabetes more susceptible to foot injuries or ulcers that may go unnoticed, leading to complications if left untreated.

It’s important to note that the Ipswich Touch Test is a screening tool and not a definitive diagnostic test. If the test indicates reduced sensation, further assessment or specialized tests may be recommended to confirm the presence of peripheral neuropathy or evaluate its severity.


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