Podiatrist and co-founder of Undefeeted Peter Allton says: “85% of diabetes-related amputations could be avoided.”
Imagine what it would be like to never be able to see your footprint in the sand or feel the sea splashing around your ankles or to not be able to play in the park with children? Maybe you would miss going to work or the gentle touch of your loved one as they brush their feet affectionately next to yours in the bed?
In the last week alone these things have become a reality for over 30,000 people who have had lower limb amputations simply because of complications with diabetes. In the last year there were 1.6 million amputations and every day as you put your socks and shoes on there are over 4,300 more people who will be unable to do so.
London-based podiatrist Peter Allton says that 85% of these could be avoided. Critical to this is teaching people who have diabetes to manage their condition effectively.
Peter is the clinical director and owner of Circle Podiatry which combines experience, professionalism and specialised technology and equipment to provide a wide range of effective treatments. He operates two clinics, one in Oxted, Surrey and the other in Lewisham, London.
This fact compelled Peter to write a book called ‘Undefeeted by Diabetes’ in which he teaches people about the importance of foot health and what to do to stay safe. As someone who lives with Type 2 diabetes, Peter understands that education is vital to managing the condition.
Peter Alton said, “If someone with diabetes develops a foot ulcer, their survival chances are worse than those of someone with prostate or breast cancer. A person with a foot ulcer has an 80% chance of not surviving five years, compared to 18% and 40% respectively for a person with breast or prostate cancer.
“Did you know that there is a diabetes related amputation happening globally every 20 seconds?
“Diabetes can be extremely difficult to live with, especially if you don’t have the right information and strategies in place.”
When his daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of eleven Peter decided to take action. He started the global ‘Undefeeted’ campaign to promote good foot health for diabetes sufferers.
The book ‘Undefeeted by Diabetes’ focuses on helping people with diabetes live in what Peter calls the ‘diabetic sweet spot’ – the safest possible position for them. The ‘sweet spot’ refers to a combination of knowledge and awareness of their personal risk and taking appropriate action that helps them to live full and healthy lives.
The organisation is raising global awareness of the problem whilst interacting on a personal level with individuals to help them better manage their diabetes (Types 1 and 2) and even reverse their Type 2.
This week has seen an exciting step forward in this drive to help the world as Peter returns from speaking in Algeria where Undefeeted was received with open arms.
The organiser of the Algerian Diabetes Association’s congress Nadia Boudjenah said, “On behalf of the Diabetics of Algeria, my staff, the participants and myself, I would like to truly thank Peter Allton for taking the burden of travelling to Algeria and enriching our congress with your most valuable speech that received more clapping than any other one.
“Sharing your personnel experience and the actions you have taken with the help of your beautiful wife touched the hearts of the whole room and we are very thankful to you for that. Educating people in our society has been and still our biggest handicap and may be and hopefully, you standing there will be the start of a long journey to create the culture of prevention in our country and our area.”
Peter says the kindness of the Algerian people has opened up the opportunity to help not only their people but also French and Arabic speaking people around the world with the kind offer of the LIONS club of Algeria to translate Undefeeted by diabetes into these languages. Later in November sees Undefeeted launched in the Caribbean, having been invited to the Bahamas and then in the USA in Florida and North Carolina.
The ‘Undefeeted’ campaign has drawn praise from leaders in the global diabetes and podiatry communities.
Professor Mike Edmonds, Consultant Diabetologist at Kings College Hospital, UK:
“Any movement to reduce the number of amputations in diabetic patients needs our full praise and support, so I heartily endorse this crusade!”
Dr David G Armstrong, Professor of Surgery at the University of Arizona, USA and Director at the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA):
“Every twenty seconds, somewhere in the world, an amputation is performed on a person with diabetes. The good news is that nearly all of these are ultimately avoidable. My colleagues at SALSA and I wholeheartedly support the efforts of Peter and Tina and look forward to a day when we can remain ‘Undefeeted’!”
Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, North Carolina USA:
“Congratulations on your hard work. I am inspired by the work of Peter Allton and Undefeeted. What an extraordinary mission!”
Peter has 27 years of experience as a podiatrist, having qualified in 1988. He has since treated over 200,000 feet.
He is the clinical director of Circle Podiatry, the UK’s only multi-award-winning private podiatry company. Peter runs podiatry practices in Lewisham, South London and Oxted, Surrey, assisted by his wife, practice manager Tina Allton.
‘Undefeeted by Diabetes’, written by Peter Allton and published by Filament Publishing, is available from Circle Podiatry, 316 Lewisham Road, London SE13 7PA or from www.undefeeted.org.