If you ask someone what they know about diabetes, the first two things you’ll probably hear are something about sugar and foot amputations. Diabetes does lead to problems in the feet, and if they are left untreated for too long, nerve damage and skin sores can, in fact, lead to foot amputations.
But doctors in the United Kingdom are working with the Putting Feet First campaign to raise awareness about diabetic foot health care that could reduce the need for amputations. Over the course of twelve months, there were 199 diabetic foot amputations in Northern Ireland, and according to doctors working with the campaign, up to 80% of those could have been prevented. And if one amputation could have been prevented, they say, then there are too many amputations.
A lot of people with diabetes don’t know that their feet are at an elevated health risk and that something as simple as a scratch or hangnail can cost them their feet. Putting Feet First hopes to bring attention to the special care that needs to be taken with feet. They advise a foot inspection from a doctor at least annually, and say that foot ulcers and cuts should be treated by a doctor within twenty-four hours of being detected.
The campaign hopes to get their message across to the United Kingdom, and hopes that other diabetes organizations will also pass their message around the globe. Their goal is to reduce diabetic foot amputations by 50% over the next five years.
If you have questions about the health care of diabetic feet and how to prevent unnecessary amputations, contact a Santa Fe foot doctor that can develop a plan to keep your diabetes under control. The Foot & Ankle Associates, Inc. specializes in foot health and can work with you to make sure you stay on your feet. Order their Foot and Ankle Health Book available for free online.