Member for Longman Terry Young MP has a simple message for people living with diabetes in the Longman community: “Get Your Socks Off”.
There are 10,700 people in Longman living with all types of diabetes.
Mr Young is supporting Diabetes Australia’s campaign to reduce the number of preventable diabetes-related foot problems and amputations.
“Every year there are 10,000 hospital admissions for diabetes related foot problems and around 4,400 diabetes-related amputations in Australia – and 85% of these are preventable,” Mr Young said.
“According to the most recent figures the Moreton Bay - North, which includes Longman electorate, ranks 26 (out of 80) in Australia in the rate of amputations.
“Every amputation is a tragedy for the person involved and their family and that’s why I supported Diabetes Australia today at Parliament House and got my socks off to raise awareness of this key issue.”
Mr Young said there were simple steps people with diabetes could take to reduce their own personal risk of the kind of foot problems that can lead to serious issues and amputations.
“Check your feet every day. If you have trouble reaching your feet or seeing the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask a family member or carer for help,” Mr Young said.
“Some of the things to look out for include dry skin or excessive moisture, thickened skin such as calluses or corns, cracks, blisters or ulcers or any change in the shape and thickness of your nails.
“The most important thing is to seek help early – if you think there is any foot problem, see your GP or podiatrist and make sure you get your feet checked regularly.
“Early treatment can help prevent problems escalating – and potentially save a toe or foot from amputation.
“The good news is we have a growing network of diabetes High Risk Foot Services around the country, with expert interdisciplinary teams of health professionals who can help prevent amputations of toes and limbs.”
Mr Young said some people were at a higher level of risk and needed more frequent foot checks and should be accessing a diabetes High Risk Foot Service.
“If you’ve experienced nerve damage or noticed any changes in the shape of your feet you need to be extra vigilant,” Mr Young said.
“Every day 12 people undergo a diabetes-related amputation and most are preventable. If we all play our part, we can end the tragedy of diabetes-related amputations within a generation.”