Almost 50% of patients attending Diabetes Ireland Care Centre footcare services discovered to have undiagnosed neuropathy
Forty seven per cent (47%) of diabetes patients who attended the recently opened Diabetes Ireland Care Centre in Santry during the first three months of the year were found to have neuropathy (nerve damage) in their feet. A large number of these patients did not know they had neuropathy and were on the way to developing more serious foot problems.
However, early intervention and treatment will prevent these foot problems from occurring and these patients will be regularly monitored in the future.
Ms Theresa Kidd-Foley, Senior Podiatrist at the Care Centre said “every person with diabetes should have an annual foot assessment which should include as a minimum removal of the shoes and socks and a test for feeling (sensation) in each foot using a monofilament”. Many of the patients I see say they had never seen a monofilament so I would ask GPs in the locality to encourage their diabetes patients to have an annual foot assessment and refer or ask them to make an appointment with a podiatrist. By doing so, people with diabetes will significantly improve their chances of avoiding any unnecessary diabetes related foot complications such as foot ulcers”.
Latest HSE figures show that there was 701 lower limb amputations in Ireland in 2013 with 371 (92 in Dublin alone) of these in people with diabetes. This is a shocking statistic considering research has proven that 80% of diabetes related amputations are almost completely preventable with regular screening and early intervention by podiatrists. Furthermore, 1,559 people with diabetes were hospitalised for foot ulceration treatment in 2013, with 329 of these in Dublin alone spending on average 3 weeks in hospital.
Diabetes patient, George Casey from Drumcondra said “I never really appreciated the need to look after my feet until I had a problem. I went to the Diabetes Ireland Care Centre and as well as having my problem sorted, I was educated on how to look after my feet properly each day and how to check my feet for signs of damage” .
In addition to a diabetic foot screening service, foot and nail care treatment, callus and corn removal treatments are also available plus a wide range of diabetes friendly footwear and a professional shoe fitting service.
The Care Centre is a not-for-profit initiative of Diabetes Ireland which aims to reduce the number of people unnecessarily developing diabetes related eye and foot complications as a result of poorly managed diabetes. It is also a resource centre for people seeking information, education and support on the many facets of diabetes. To make an appointment or to simply obtain more information about the condition, call 1850 909 909
“People with diabetes must actively self- manage their condition and seek out the necessary supports they require to help them stay healthy” added Theresa.
- For more information please contact Gary Brady on 01 8428118.
- Diabetes Ireland is the national charity dedicated to providing support, education and motivation to all people affected by diabetes. It also raises public awareness of diabetes and its symptoms and funds Irish-based research into diabetes.
- The Diabetes Care Centre is situated at 19 Northwood House, Northwood Business Campus, Santry, Dublin 9.
- The subsidised fees for healthcare professional led services are:
- 1st appointment Follow up appointments
- Podiatrist €45* €35
- Dietitian €80* €35
- Other services are free of charge.
*First appointment fee includes free annual membership of Diabetes Ireland.
Neuropathy is damage to the nerves, which may impair sensation, movement, gland or organ function and one of the main causes is diabetes. If left undiscovered and untreated neuropathy can lead to further complications and possible amputation.