Diabetic patient warns about importance of good foot care

A MAN from Stockton has spoken about his own battle to save his feet and the help he has had from a team of health specialists.

Ian Gamble has spent the last 20 years being treated at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

Ian, who is 62, has type two diabetes – this puts him at a much greater risk of developing problems with his feet due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation.

The ulcers and infections he has experienced have been so severe that doctors have considered amputation.

He said: “It was 20 years ago when I started experiencing  issues with my feet.

“I felt weak, I couldn’t stand up for long periods of time, my feet hurt and I had flu-type symptoms.

“I ended up at the clinic, had a urine sample and was diagnosed with type two diabetes.”

Since then he has had regular appointments with a range of staff including doctors, nurses, podiatrists and dietitians to have treatment.

He said: “I get ulcers very easily and have to be very careful. Thanks to the trust’s podiatrists, I now know the risks and I know more about how to prevent any problems.”

Claire O’Malley, a high risk specialist podiatrist at the trust, said: “Diabetes can cause problems with sensation (nerve damage) and circulation (reduced blood flow to feet and legs), so people may not notice any issues with their feet until a problem has developed. For example, they may stand on a small object which could damage the skin causing a small open wound which if left untreated could develop into a ulcer – which can take a long time to heal.

“We can advise our patients but they need to comply with that – Ian is the exception to the rule because he has followed what we have told him.

“Working together with the diabetes specialist nurses, consultants and dietitians, we can help people with these issues.”


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