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Diabetes-related amputation is not necessary

Amputation is one of the greatest complications related to diabetes. People who suffer from diabetes are 15 times as likely to have a lower limb amputation as people who are non-diabetic. In diabetes patients, the risk of amputation comes from the damage done to nerves and blood vessels through decreased circulation efficiency and diabetic neuropathy. The extremities of the body such as the feet are worst affected. However, with correct foot care and education, limb loss due to diabetes is not necessary.
Diabetes is currently the second most common cause of lower limb amputation in the UK, and study data has found that as many as 70 per cent of amputees die within five years of their operation.
A study presented at the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference in Birmingham had examined the care of people who had diabetes before they had a limb amputated. Their research revealed the many diabetics were receiving sub-standard specialist foot care.
The study, that took place in Wolverhampto, examined 30 diabetics aged between 60 and 80 who had had a limb amputated. A history of ulcers, nerve damage, circulation problems and foot deformities all increase the risk of amputation amongst diabetes patients. Almost a quarter of these high-risk patients are not being offered specialist care according to the study. All people with diabetes should have regular foot checks. Amputation is preventable, and any problem cases should be given a foot care plan.

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