During national Diabetes Week Local Health professionals are asking people with diabetes to find out about how they can protect their feet.
John Moore, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG Clinical Lead for Diabetes said:
“Good foot care is extremely important for the 40,000 people in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire with diabetes.
“Foot ulcers, which affect around one in ten people with diabetes, can easily develop from blisters and small wounds, not responding quickly can increase the chance of infection and worst case lead to amputation. The risk is higher for people with diabetes because high blood glucose levels can cause nerve damage and reduced blood flow. Patients are often unaware of foot problems as they develop particularly as they may not be painful due to the nerve damage.
“It is important that people with diabetes reduce the chance of damage to their feet by wearing correctly fitting footwear, avoiding walking barefoot and keeping their feet clean and in good condition. It is good to check your feet daily for cuts, bruising, swelling, ulcers, hard skin or any changes in colouration and contact your GP, practice nurse, or podiatrist if you have any concerns.
"Our feet work hard for us every day and foot problems are common. If we give our feet a little more attention we could prevent many problems before they develop.”
Health professionals across the country are asking people to get talking about diabetes this week as part of national diabetes week. John explains more:
“Talking about diabetes can promote a wide array of emotions and this can often feel awkward, or difficult, however discussing diabetes can help people find extra support from friends, family, their local diabetes support group and from their local GP practice.
“We shouldn’t be afraid to talk about this condition and learn how to improve our health. Speak to your GP practice or local diabetes support group for helpful advice on staying healthy and managing your diabetes.”
For more information on diabetes, please see the NHS Choices diabetes page. To see how you can get involved in Diabetes Week visit the Diabetes UK website or join in on Twitter using #TalkAboutDiabetes
Bristol diabetes support network offer a place where people with diabetes and their families can meet to gain support and share experiences.