A DIABETES sufferer is warning people with the condition to look after themselves before it’s too late.

Duncan Venables from Verwood had to have his right leg amputated last year, and says he is lucky to be alive.

Mr Venables, 41, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged seven.

He said: “When I was in my teens, my mum used to tell me to take care of myself, but it just went in one ear and out the other.”

“I guess I was scared to face up to facts. I felt embarrassed that I had to inject myself so I was in denial.

“I just carried on partying with my friends for years.

“You think it’s just something that happens to older people.”

Last year Mr Venables developed a foot ulcer that didn’t heal. After several operations he had to have his leg amputated from above the knee and ended up in intensive care with a suspected cardiac event.

He also lost part of the sight in his left eye.

He said: “Diabetes has had a huge impact on my life. I have lost my business and my wife and am unable to play with my children.

“I am lucky to be alive and if my story can prevent someone else from going through this, it will be worth it.”

Phaedra Perry, Diabetes UK South West regional manager, said: “There have been significant improvements in foot care for people with diabetes in Dorset over the last year which we welcome.

“There were 2.8 amputations per 1,000 people with diabetes per year in Dorset during 2010 to 2013 – above the national average of 2.6, but a decrease on the previous year.

“But we still feel that there is more that can be done to improve foot care for people with diabetes.”