MP gets his socks off for Diabetes

Last week I called on people with diabetes in the Burt community to “Get Your Socks Off”. There are more than 8,000 people in Burt living with all types of diabetes. I am supporting the latest phase of Diabetes Australia’s 4400 Reasons to End Amputations campaign.

Every year there are 4,400 diabetes-related amputations in Australia, tragically 85% of these are preventable.

According to the most recent figures, the electorate of Burt, which takes in Perth’s south eastern suburbs ranks 40th in Australia for the rate of amputations.

That’s why I met with Diabetes Australia at Parliament House and got my socks off to raise awareness of this key issue.

I have an important message for the people living with diabetes in our community: Check your feet every day. If you have trouble reaching your feet use a mirror or ask a family member or carer for help.

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.

This isn’t a full list and you should be having regular foot checks with a doctor, podiatrist or diabetes educator. Some people were at a higher level of risk and needed to take more care.

The people who should be most vigilant are people who can’t detect a pulse in their feet, people who have experienced nerve damage or have observed changes in the shape of their feet.

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.