According to a charity in Scotland, nearly 200,000 people are diagnosed as diabetics, while 60,000 or more are ignorant of their condition. Nearly ten in a week lose their limb to the condition in Scotland. It is estimated that across the United Kingdom, close to 5000 diabetics suffer amputations.
The charity has stressed the need for enhanced awareness of the disease, the only way to improve management of diabetes.
Director Audrey Birt said: "There are about 200,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland and over 60,000 people are unaware they have it. All of the complications of diabetes can be life-shattering and as the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Scotland keeps increasing, we need to make sure that people realize how serious the condition is."
Injury to nerves and blood vessels in diabetics leads to amputation. Nearly 70% of diabetics with amputated limbs do not even survive for five years, the charity said.
Explaining the importance of awareness in the management of diabetes, Ms Birt said: "The situation is shocking given that most amputations can be prevented with better awareness and management of the condition. People with diabetes need to have optimum support, guidance and clinical care to help minimize the risks of amputation. We want to see all people with diabetes have better access to podiatrists and to a regular foot check as part of their annual medical review."
Awareness is crucial to manage diabetes without complications. Type 2 Diabetes is linked to risk of stroke, blindness, heart attack and kidney failure.