Amputations in UK on the rise as diabetes hits crisis point

Hundreds of diabetes sufferers are having limbs amputated amid a spiralling obesity crisis.

Some 2,999 have lost an arm or leg in recent months due to complications with the killer condition.

Data also shows an increasing number are being admitted to hospital with obesity-related illnesses, among them a significant number of children.

Between April 2022 and March this year the NHS dealt with 72,505 cases – up more than 114 percent on a decade ago.

Among those receiving treatment in 2022-23 some 1,078 were children, with 81 babies and toddlers.

READ MORE: Urgent health warning over diabetes drug Ozempic

The conditions medics are tackling include hypertension, diabetes, asthma, gallstones, stomach reflux, internal knee derangement and sleep apnoea, potentially fatal if untreated.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: “These figures are shocking and they will keep on rising until the Government gets a grip on tackling obesity.

“And that’s unlikely to be any time soon. Things are worse than they’ve ever been.”

Obesity-driven Type 2 diabetes blights almost 5 million and is one of the fastest-growing diseases. It costs the NHS £15billion a year to treat –more than £1million an hour.

In people with the disease insulin from the pancreas fails to regulate blood sugar levels. These start to rise, damaging circulation and blood vessels, causing inflammation. Sufferers who are overweight have cells that become less sensitive to insulin.

The condition can impair organs and tissues in the body, causing serious complications such as kidney failure, eye and foot problems, heart attacks and stroke.

Some 4.3million have Type 2 but almost one million have it without knowing. A further 2.4million people are prediabetic, while 13.6million are thought likely to develop it.

Roughly one-third of the population is facing a disease largely triggered by being overweight.

Ministers promised to halve childhood obesity rates by 2030. Yet official figures show 41 percent of 10 and 11-year-olds are overweight or obese, up from 31.6 in 2006-07.

Some 6.3 percent were classified as severely obese.

Obesity-linked hospital admissions passed the one million mark for the first time in 2021.

Some 502 sufferers last year were children and teens, 63 four and under.

Dr John Lister, of campaign group Health Emergency, said: “The obesity problem has been compounded by growing poverty and inequality which leaves too many people reliant on cheap but unhealthy foods.”


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