Diabetic Neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the nerves that give sensation to your feet and hands. It is most commonly caused by poor circulation in the small vessels that supply blood to the nerves themselves. If the nerves do not get the blood supply to keep them healthy, they will begin to deteriorate. Having elevated glucose levels can also damage the nerves directly or indirectly by causing edema in the nerve sheath (the tissue layer that protects the nerves). If the nerve sheath becomes swollen, small holes can develop in the nerve sheath due to pressure. This will then cause the signal that the nerve is sending to your feet to be altered.
Just because you have diabetes, doesn’t mean you will develop diabetic neuropathy. However, at least 60% of people with diabetes will have one of the symptoms of neuropathy. The most important thing you can do to prevent these problems is make sure that your glucose levels are tightly controlled. Symptoms of neuropathy can include tingling, burning, feeling odd/unusual sensations to the extremities and even complete numbness. If you no longer have sensation to your feet, walking can be difficult and you are at a much higher risk of infection or amputation from wounds because you cannot feel/recognize the severity of the situation
Treatment for diabetic neuropathy is primarily to reduce the symptoms that you are feeling as the damage to the nerves can be permanent. Treatment can begin with vitamins, such as NeuRx-TF which contains four unique substances to improve nerve health. There are also multiple pharmaceutical options that can slow or help the symptoms as well.
If you have diabetic neuropathy, it is extremely important to monitor your feet and check between your toes daily for any new issues that could develop. Look for cracks or cuts in the skin, ingrown toenails, blisters, redness, swelling, warmth or drainage. If anything looks out of the ordinary it is better to have it evaluated than risk the possible complications that may arise if left unchecked.
The doctors at Advanced Foot and Ankle Center have extensive training and experience in the treatment of diabetic complications in the foot. Call for an appointment today.
Dr. Eric Silvers, DPM
Dr. Dustin Lloyd, DPM
Dr. Christopher Witt, DPM