Diabetes and Your Feet

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 31 Mar, 2017
04 April 2016
Author/blogger Reggie Simpson

Support to help manage diabetes with confidence and control

According to Diabetes UK, people with diabetes are at much greater risk of developing problems with their feet, due to the damage raised blood sugars can cause to sensation and circulation. If left untreated, these problems can cause foot ulcers and infections and, at worst, may lead to amputations. However, most foot problems are preventable with good, regular foot care.

Diabetes UK has an excellent guide to how to live with diabetes:


It is important for anyone who has diabetes to learn how to manage the condition. There are short courses, such as DAFNE (Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating) for Type I diabetes and DESMOND (Diabetes Education and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) for Type II diabetes, which may help.

If you have diabetes and haven't yet attended an education programme, talk to your GP or diabetes care team as they can refer you to a local one. At Betafeet Podiatry we can also give you advice.

DAFNE is a way of managing Type 1 diabetes and provides people with the skills necessary to estimate the carbohydrates in each meal and to inject the right dose of insulin.

For more information visit the DAFNE website:


DESMOND (Diabetes and Self Management for Ongoing and Newly Diagnosed) is a UK NHS training course for those with Type II diabetes   that helps people to identify their own health risks and to set their own goals.

For more information on DESMOND and diabetes care generally visit:


At Betafeet Podiatry, we aim to conduct a half-yearly foot assessment for our diabetic patients. We try to time this around six months after the patient has visited with his or her diabetic nurse or care team, and we are happy to provide the patient with a copy of our assessment to share with their diabetic health care team. In turn, we would like as much as possible for our diabetic patients to provide us with information such as their most recent Hb1Ac level.  HbA1C is a measure of your average blood glucose level over 3 months. It was originally measured in percentages, but now is measured in millimoles per mol (mmol/mol).

Don’t let diabetes rule your life and those around you – take charge!

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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