Liverpool news Diabetes sufferers warned of dangers of not getting feet checked MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The disease is causing an increasing number of people in Merseyside to have legs or feet amputated
Breaking News ! A Liverpool medical professional has warned diabetes sufferers of the dangers of not getting their feet checked out after it has emerged that the disease is causing an increasing number of people in Merseyside to have legs or feet amputated. Statistics show that between 2016/17 and 2018/19, there were 265 major amputations (ones that involved loss of all or part of the leg), and 690 minor amputations (involving loss of toes or feet) in Merseyside. That was a rise from 265 major amputations and 587 minor amputations between 2013/14 and 2015/16. The number of amputations affecting people in Merseyside has been rising since figures began in 2010/11 to 2012/13, with the number of minor amputations now at record levels. Across Merseyside, those living in Liverpool CCG were the most likely to have diabetic amputations, with 13.4 major amputations per 10,000 registered diabetes patients - above the England rate of 8.2 per 10,000. Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here They also had the highest rate of minor amputations at 32.6 per 10,000, again above the England rate of 22.0 per 10,000. For people with diabetes, raised blood sugar can damage the sensation in their feet and affect circulation. This may lead to lower blood supply to the feet, potentially causing problems with cuts and sores healing. If these problems aren’t treated, they could lead to foot ulcers, infections and, at worst, amputations. Foot problems related to diabetes led to people from Merseyside being admitted to hospital 5,035 times between 2016/17 and 2018/19 - a seven-year high. That was up from 4,045 between 2013/14 and 2015/16. Today, Ashley Jackson, a podiatrist at Liverpool Foot Clinic Ltd on Prescot Road in Old Swan, explained that having diabetes puts people at much higher risk of developing foot problems, and she made clear that she has seen more diabetic-related problems since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United Kingdom last year. Ashley Jackosn, Podiatrist at Liverpool Foot Clinic Ltd Read More Related Articles Second arrest after man randomly attacked on early morning jog Ms Jackson said: "We often see patients at Liverpool Foot Clinic with foot problems caused by diabetes. We have also noticed that we are seeing more diabetic-related problems, especially since March 2020. Many of the problems have been much more severe. These have included ulcers that have required urgent treatment, without this it is possible they may have lead to amputation. She explained that simple problems which normally receive regular treatment are now being seen less frequently, allowing the problem to worsen. Ms Jackson added: "This is manageable when people seek help as soon as they notice them, but many have avoided going to any hospital or any clinic setting, as they are scared of contracting the coronavirus when they do. Whether its the journey to the doctor by taxi, bus, or a lift from a relative or the idea the hospital isn't safe." She added: "There's also the chance that someone with a problem may not have noticed it, as diabetes can cause neuropathy. This is where a patient suffers with numbness and reduced sensation. "Normally people suffering with neuropathy will have been told how best to check their feet and what to look for, and good management can allow a podiatrist to check for any problems leading to any problems being identified before they worsen." Asked what can be done to prevent diabetes, Ms Jackson said: "It is important to differentiate between type one and type two, as although they are both labelled as diabetes the management and day to day living is completely different for both. "It is still unknown what causes type one diabetes, but it happens when the body attacks the cells in the pancreas, meaning it can no longer produce insulin. This isn't preventable, and leads to a person having to take insulin to manage their blood sugar levels. Read More Related Articles Thug with knife wrestled to ground near primary school in front of scared children "There's no way to prevent type 1 diabetes. However many cases of type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active. "Some people with type 2 are able to put their diabetes into remission after following a healthier lifestyle. This means a person with type 2 will be able to control their blood glucose levels without the need for medication, however it's not possible for everyone. "The advice for looking after your feet applies to all diabetics and nondiabetic people. People understanding how best to look after their feet, and how to identify problems could help in reducing complications at a later date." Read More Related Articles Pensioner bombarded mayor with offensive emails after Edward Colston statue toppling At least one diabetes-related amputation occurs every hour in England, and Diabetes UK is concerned that since numbers rose year-on-year before the pandemic, the situation is unlikely to have improved during lockdown. Across England, diabetes complications affecting legs and feet have risen to record levels. There were 157,886 admissions for diabetic foot disease between 2016/17 and 2018/19, the highest number since 2010/11 to 2012/13. This may be due to more people being diagnosed with diabetes - however, the rate of hospital admissions has also risen to record levels. There were 163.2 admissions per 10,000 diabetes patients, up from 138.2 in 2013/14 to 2015/16 and 122.7 in 2010/11 to 2012/13. There were 7,809 major and 20,973 minor amputations in the most recent period, with both numbers rising.
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Diabetes is the most common cause of lower limb amputations in the UK. Someone living with diabetes is 20 times more likely to experience an amputation than someone without the condition. Around half of all people who experience a major amputation die within two years. The charity is urging people with diabetes not to delay in seeking medical help if they experience problems with their feet. It has heard from clinicians across the UK, who are seeing greater-than-expected numbers of people presenting for urgent care with unusually advanced and severe foot disease, while the UK has been under lockdown. Dan Howarth, Head of Care at Diabetes UK, said: “It is perfectly understandable that people are afraid to seek medical attention, but the consequences of this cannot be underestimated, and clinicians are telling us that people with diabetes are not getting the help they need. “It is crucial that people with diabetes know how important it is to seek medical attention if they spot any signs of foot problems. A matter of hours can make the difference between losing and keeping a foot, or worse. The NHS is and remains open, and the health service is still there for you.” Seeking early treatment could potentially prevent the need for amputation, however due to the delays reported, Diabetes UK has learned of patients presenting at hospitals needing to go straight to major amputation. Ms Jackson added: "It is worrying to see how much the rates have changed over the years, and I worry that this trend will continue if nothing is put into place to try and stop it. "I have noticed a greater number of newer patients presenting with problems that require immediate referral into the NHS. They have already waited for the problem to worsen before seeking help and have come to a private clinic rather than the normal podiatry department they would go to for routine treatment or to the GP. "With diabetes it is important to get any changes to the feet checked as soon as they start to develop. This is key in avoiding amputations, as earlier intervention might resolve the issue."
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Ms Jackson spoke of her concern over the increasing number of amputations affecting people in Merseyside which have risen to new record levels. Ms Jackson said: "I am very concerned especially when it is now at record levels. I feel with more awareness towards diabetes, the potential foot problems a diabetic can encounter will be known. "In addition to diabetics knowing the correct pathway to use in order to receive treatment. This should help to reduce the numbers of complications leading to amputations. However this also applies to non diabetic amputations."
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How to look after your feet There are ways to protect your feet which will prevent anything serious happening to them. Ms Jackson said: "Keeping your blood glucose levels within target will help prevent damage to your feet and can stop things getting worse. As can looking after cholesterol and blood pressure. "People with diabetes should check their feet daily, as problems can worsen quickly. If it is hard to see all parts of your foot, a mirror can be used, or even a friend or relative checking for them if eyesight isn't the best. If any changes to the skin or nails are spotted, don't hesitate to contact a healthcare professional. "When it comes to nail cutting, it is important to be careful as if the skin is accidentally pierced this can lead to infections. Try to cut them often but not too short, and not down the side. If this is hard to do in a safe way, a nail file may be better. However care should be taken to ensure the skin isn't damaged, and you don't file against the nail. "Wash feet daily to keep them clean, just check the temperature before you put your feet in the water. If you have reduced sensation you may not feel the temperature, leading to burns. Try not to soak feet, as this can lead to the skin being very soft afterwards which makes them more likely to get damaged. Also it's important to dry your feet afterwards, especially between the toes.
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"Try to moisturise your feet daily, if you are unsure which emollient to use a podiatrist or healthcare provider may be able to help. Don't put the cream or talc in-between the toes, as this can cause problems. "Try to avoid being barefoot, people with reduced sensation can easily step on something sharp and be unaware of what's happened. By wearing shoes you minimise this risk, just ensure shoes are the correct size - they shouldn't be too wide or narrow as the wrong size can lead to rubbing. The same applies to socks, try to find socks that don't cut into the skin but aren't too loose. "If you’ve lost some sensation in your feet or you’re worried about things like ingrown toenails, see a podiatrist. They’re used to helping with these things, and can give advice on day to day management."
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