HEALTH experts are urging Fairfield residents who suffer from diabetes to look after their feet in a bid to avoid ulcers and the risk of amputation.
Diabetes can cause several side-effects including nerve damage, poor blood flow and skin changes, which means the feet are at a higher risk of serious infection from small injuries such as cuts and abrasions.
As Fairfield has one of the highest rates of diabetes in NSW, experts have found that many people are not taking care of their feet and seeking medical advice too late.
Fairfield Hospital's podiatric medicine director Matthew Malone said the majority of all diabetes-related amputations could be prevented by the introduction of a good foot care system.
"Eighty-five per cent of all amputations on people with diabetes begin as a foot ulceration,
which is quite astonishing as preventative care can be taken to avoid it developing into a serious infection that requires amputation," he said.
For more information on managing diabetes, visit diabetesaustralia.com.au.
Did you know . . .
■About 1.7 million Australians have diabetes
■280 Australians are diagnosed with diabetes every day
■By 2031, it is estimated that 3.3 million Australians will have type 2 diabetes.
■Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in Australia