Diabetes - Important to look after feet

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Two years ago I faced the most frightening moment of my life when I was told my left leg might need to be amputated due to a diabetes-related complication.

Having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager, I first knew something was wrong when an excruciating pain down my left leg woke me up in the middle of the night. I held off calling the hospital until 6am, but not wanting to make a fuss almost cost me my leg. When I eventually got to hospital I was told I had a blocked artery that meant no blood was getting to my leg, sometimes known as a ‘foot attack’. I was rushed into a five-hour operation and luckily the surgeons saved my leg. Sadly I can no longer kick a football or go running with my dog, but I realise how lucky I am that my leg was saved from being amputated.

My hope now is that my story can help raise awareness of the importance of looking after your feet when you have diabetes, and this is why I am supportingDiabetes UK’s Putting Feet First campaign which aims to reduce the diabetes-related amputation rate by half. Diabetes UK’s new leaflet, ‘What To Expect At Your Annual Foot Check’, explains why it is so important to have your foot check and outlines the care you should receive in these checks.

You can download the ‘What To Expect At Your Annual Foot Check’ leaflet and find out more about the Putting Feet First campaign at: www.diabetes.org.uk/putting-feet-first To order free copies of the leaflet please visit: https://shop.diabetes.org.uk/go/foot-check

Gary Mabbut

Honorary vice-president of Diabetes UK and Ambassador for Putting Feet First campaign