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Recent Study Finds Diabetes Amputations Unnecessary
Between March 2010 and April 2011 Northern Ireland had 199 diabetes related amputations. It has now been revelled by Diabetes UK that around 80% of those amputations were not needed.

Foot problems for diabetics can be caused by reduced circulation to the feet or damaged nerve endings.

The Putting Feet First campaign therefore aims to educate people on how to look after their feet.

If you have diabetes, looking after your feet, is very important.  Not taking care of your feet could lead to serious problems.  Unfortunately people with diabetes are more prone to foot problems, because of poor circulation and damage to nerve endings.  By taking better care of your feet, most serious problems can be prevented.

Here are a few diabetes foot care tips:

Wash and dry your feet daily, using a mild soap and warm water.  Pat your skin dry, thoroughly dry your feet especially between the toes.  Use lotion on your feet to prevent cracking, but avoid putting lotion between your toes.  Check your feet regularly for blisters, cuts, scratches, or other sores and when cutting toe nails cut after bathing, when they are soft, always cut straight across and smooth with an emery board.

Always protect your feet by wearing good fitting shoes (avoid high heels and pointed toes).  Never go barefooted.

There are two types of diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin and diabetics must maintain a healthy diet.  Insulin cannot be taken by mouth because digestive juices in the stomach destroy the insulin.

Insulin has to be injected into the body at regular intervals two to four times daily.  The needle is very fine and most people find injecting insulin relatively painless.

Type 2 - diabetes was once considered a milder form of diabetes, but this is now known, to no longer be the case.  For most people type-2 diabetes can be controlled by diet alone.  When diet alone is not sufficient then medication can be taken in tablet form.

If a controlled diet along with medication is not sufficient to keep diabetes under control then insulin injections may be recommended.

Diabetics should be putting their feet at the forefront of their healthcare.

There are 2.8 m people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes. It can cause several other conditions in the suffers including loss of sight, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction and an increased risk of hearts attack so Diabetics know how important it is to manage blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as checking feet regularly and making sure shoes fit properly.

It is important that diabetics get regular foot checks.  The government needs to insist that all areas throughout the UK offer the same standards of care, amputation rates in some areas are far too high.

Diabetes UK Northern Ireland would like everyone with diabetes to receive annual foot checks and anyone with foot ulcers should be referred to a diabetic foot specialist within 24 hours.

But there are also many poorly performing areas throughout the UK where this does not happen.

Tragically this could make the difference between someone keeping their foot or losing it.

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