LAHORE - Speakers at a conference have stressed the need of raising awareness about better sugar control through proper use of insulin, lifestyle modifications, regular oral medicines and balanced diet to avoid diabetes related complications like amputation of limbs.

Speaking at diabetic footcon 2018 at a local hotel on Saturday, they urged family physicians and general practitioners to promote use of insulin to save diabetics from limb amputation, blindness, kidney disease and development of cardiovascular diseases.

National Association of Diabetes Educators of Pakistan (NADEP) and

Pakistan Working Group on Diabetic Foot (PWGDF) arranged the conference in collaboration with Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) and Diabetes and Footcare Clinic (DFC) Mayo Hospital Lahore.

Only 3-4 per cent out of 360 million diabetics in Pakistan are using injectable insulin. The people not using insulin are at greater risk of developing foot cancer, blindness, kidney and heart diseases.

Forum for Injection Techniques (FIT) guidelines were also introduced for Pakistani insulin and injection users. They were urged to use insulin as per international recommendations to prevent injuries as these result in amputations and other complications for the patients.

“Proper sugar control is necessary for preventing foot ulcers and insulin is the best medication. Patients with foot ulcers recover early and their chances of healing improve if put on insulin”, said Dr Zulfikar Abbass.

He said the entire world was under “diabetic-foot attack” and people were losing their limbs due to foot ulcers, adding that wrong injection techniques could also cause amputations.

Prof Zahid Miyan said that majority of people in the country were scare of using injectable drug. “Internationally it is believed that at least 10 percent diabetics, who cannot control diabetes through oral medicine should use injectable insulin to avoid complications”, he added.

He said that over 270,000 people in Pakistan, one percent of the total diabetics in the country, might lose lower limbs due to ulcers in their feet.

Prof Bilal Bin Younus deplored that only 14 percent doctors examine feet of patients. He urged people living with diabetes to take care of feet by daily examining and washing with warm water.