Survey reveals lack of awareness over foot ulcers in Scotland

Jack Woodfield
Mon, 09 Oct 2017
Survey reveals lack of awareness over foot ulcers in Scotland
One in three people living with diabetes in Scotland are unaware that foot ulcers are linked to diabetes, a poll has found.

A total of 38 per cent of respondents in The Scottish Diabetes Survey 2016 said they did not know that both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes can lead to foot ulcers which can result in amputation in the worst-case scenario.

The research, conducted by YouGov, also revealed that only 59.1 per cent of those with type 1 diabetes had their feet inspected in the last 15 months, which rose to 73.2 per cent of those with type 2 diabetes.

Linda McGlynn, a regional engagement manager at Diabetes Scotland, said: "Diabetes-related amputations can devastate lives. But, with the right support, four out of five amputations can be preventable. That's why it's essential that people living with diabetes in Scotland know how to look after their feet, and that they check them daily.

"It's also crucial that people know to seek urgent medical attention if they notice any problems with their feet, a matter of hours can make the difference between losing and keeping a limb."

Keeping good control of blood glucose levels is pivotal in preventing the risk of a foot ulcer developing, while smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are also markers for increased foot ulcer risk. Eating healthily and getting regular, suitable exercise will help to improve your diabetes management and the health of your feet.

Moreover, checking your feet regularly can help you identify any early signs of damage, which is particularly important if you also experience poor blood circulation or diabetic neuropathy.

McGlynn added that attending annual foot checks is vital to prevent any signs of damage escalating into something more serious. She said: "These checks are vital in assessing foot health, recognising the potential for problems and reducing the risk of foot ulcers."
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