I’m sure there will also be plenty of discussion about how we can ‘reverse’ type 2 diabetes with diet and lifestyle alone. As far as Diabetes UK is concerned, we don’t talking about ‘reveresing’ diabetes. Instead, we talk about putting it into remission. Reversing suggests that it goes away and stays away and evidence actually suggests that symptoms can quickly come back of if diet changes or activity levels drop for whatever reason. There is also the difficulty that people may believe that their diabetes has gone for good and stop attending yearly checkups. This can mean it can come back without being noticed. And type 2 diabetes does not just affect blood sugar levels. It can also have long term effects on organs like the kidneys and heart and symptoms are not always obvious. So the yearly checks are still absolutely crucial.
Footcare is something that is a vital part of looking after people with diabetes because the condition can affect the blood supply and damage nerves that supply the feet. So people with diabetes can easily damage their feet without feeling discomfort, causing them to damage the area further. Poor circulation means that wounds take longer to heal, potentially leading to infection or ulcers. If this happens, a foot amputation may be necessary. We know that, if we catch foot damage early, we can greatly reduce the risk of needing an amputation. Diabetes UK’s ongoing campaign, Putting Feet First, aims to raise awareness in people with diabetes of the need to check their feet everyday and seek help at specialist clinics when they have a problem. It also highlights the need for healthcare services to provide immediate access to specialist foot care services
We look forward to welcoming our speakers and delegates this week and hope to come away with new ideas and solutions for improving diabetes care.