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Majority of diabetes-related amputations avoidable

Thursday 6th August 2015
A leading podiatrist has said the vast majority of amputations caused by diabetes are avoidable. Image Credit: Thinkstock
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Most diabetes-related amputations can be avoided, a leading podiatrist has claimed. It is estimated that around 30,000 lower limb amputations take place each week because of complications arising from the condition.

London-based podiatrist Peter Allton has said that the majority of these (85 per cent) could be avoided with the right preventative measures. Key to this, he added, is ensuring that people who have been diagnosed with diabetes know how to manage their condition effectively to prevent amputations.

In a bid to improve awareness, Mr Allton has created a book to highlight the importance of foot care and health for those living with diabetes.

Entitled ‘Undefeeted by Diabetes’, the guide looks at the risks that someone with the condition can be exposed to if it isn't effectively managed.

“If someone with diabetes develops a foot ulcer, their survival chances are worse than those of someone with prostate or breast cancer. A person with a foot ulcer has an 80 per cent chance of not surviving five years, compared to 18 per cent and 40 per cent respectively for a person with breast or prostate cancer," he said.

As a diabetic himself, Mr Allton is aware of the dangers that can be associated with the condition and the importance of taking measures to prevent further health problems.

“Diabetes can be extremely difficult to live with if you don’t have the right information and strategies in place.”

Mr Allton first started the ‘Undefeeted’ campaign, which is now a global initiative, when his daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11. His new book is aimed at those who are at risk of developing the condition, as well as those who have already been diagnosed and their families.

The ‘Undefeeted’ campaign has been welcomed by both diabetes and podiatry experts. 

Professor Mike Edmonds, consultant diabetologist at Kings College Hospital, said he "heartily" endorsed the "crusade", saying that any movement to reduce the number of amputations in diabetic patients needs praise.

Written by Angela Newbury

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