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  • Diabetes UK advises Somerset men with diabetes to get their feet checked out – Somerset County Gazette

Diabetes UK advises Somerset men with diabetes to get their feet checked out – Somerset County Gazette

Saturday, 6 May, 2017

Diabetes UK advises Somerset men with diabetes to get their feet checked out – Somerset County Gazette

MEN in Somerset with diabetes are at a higher risk of chronic foot and leg wounds which can lead to devastating toe, foot or leg amputations, Diabetes UK warns today.

Nearly three out of four people who have diabetes-related foot ulcers are men.

During Foot Health Awareness Month in May, the charity is urging people with diabetes and particularly men with diabetes, to take care of their feet and if they’ve not had them checked in the past 12 months to not delay in booking in for their free annual foot check with their doctor or nurse.

Latest figures show there are 20 diabetes-related amputations a day, despite four out of five of these being preventable with good foot care.

The charity warns that not all people with diabetes are getting the annual foot check they’re entitled to on the NHS.

According to the National Diabetes Audit 2015-16, nearly one in six people with Type 2 diabetes in Somerset are missing out on this essential check-up (15.8%), compared to one in ten across England.

This rises to a third of people with Type 1 diabetes in the county (33.6%), higher than the England average of one in four.

Having an amputation has a devastating impact on a person’s life through loss of work, immobility and the inability to drive.

But if a foot problem is treated quickly it can prevent serious problems in the future.

Ex Tottenham and England defender Gary Mabbutt, who began his career with Bristol Rovers and who is a Diabetes UK supporter, has Type 1 diabetes and understands the importance of seeking help early.

He said: “Taking good care of my feet wasn’t just about keeping fit as a footballer but because my diabetes can severely affect them.

“I was lucky. When I lost the feeling in my leg I was able to see a professional really quickly and this didn’t develop into needing an amputation.

"But thousands of people with diabetes do lose limbs, and there are 20 diabetes-related amputations every day.

“Being able to see a foot specialist and getting the right treatment at the right time is vital for all of us who live with diabetes.

“Everyone with diabetes needs to check their feet regularly to prevent serious complications in the future.”

Diabetes UK South West regional head Phaedra Perry said: “Men with diabetes can protect their feet this May by ensuring they attend their annual foot check and that they come away knowing what their risk of developing foot problems is and whether further action is needed.

"If your feet have not been checked by a healthcare professional in the past 12 months – if you’ve not been invited in for your foot check or you missed your appointment – do not put off booking or taking up the offer of a free check.

"Also, if you spot a problem or have any concerns – do not wait for your 12 month check-up – make sure you book an appointment as soon as possible as problems can escalate extremely quickly.

“Putting your feet first can prevent the devastating loss of your toes, feet or legs, which will have a huge impact on your life.

"Everyone with diabetes is entitled to an annual foot check – or more frequent checks if you are deemed to be at medium or high risk.

“Checking regularly yourself and having an annual foot check with a health professional can keep you on your feet.”

Diabetes UK’s tips for daily footcare.

● Check your feet daily for any signs of redness, breaks in the skin, pain, build-up of hard skin or changes in the shape of your feet. These could be warning signs of early foot problems, so tell your doctor straight away.

● Wash and dry your feet every day – especially between the toes. Don’t soak them in water as this can increase the risk of damage.

● Moisturise every day, but not in between the toes (this can make infections more likely).

● Check your shoes daily for anything that may rub.

● Cut your nails carefully and don’t cut down the side of your nails.

● Don’t use corn removing plasters or blades as these can damage healthy skin.

The ‘Touch the toes test’ can help you find out if you are losing sensation in your feet.

To contact Diabetes UK helpline call 0345-1232399.


Source: Diabetes UK advises Somerset men with diabetes to get their feet checked out - Somerset County Gazette

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