What is The Impact of Diabetic Neuropathy on Your Feet?
It is well known that diabetes will often affect the feet. Diabetic neuropathy is the name given to feet issues in diabetics, and occurs when elevated blood sugar damages the sensory nerves in the extremities. This most often manifests itself in the feet, and can lead to serious problems.
When the nerves that send signals to the extremities from the spinal cord are damaged and deteriorate, it’s called peripheral neuropathy. The myelin sheaths that the nerves have as protection get irritated, and no longer protect the nerves as effectively. It can often feel like a burning sensation, but can involve weaknesses in the muscles of the feet, numbness, and a lack of sensitivity to temperatures.
Peripheral neuropathy doesn’t only happen to diabetics. It can happen because of trauma, or if pressure is continually placed on a nerve, or if the nerves are damaged by a disease. Sometimes drug use can cause it as well.
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy from diabetes start faintly, and will build gradually over time if not treated. It usually starts with a tingling in the toes that eventually spreads upward. This tingling can become numbness and pain as well. The skin around the tingling can become very sensitive to the touch. The condition is usually diagnosed with a nerve conduction test, which tests how long it takes an impulse to travel the length of a nerve.
While many times peripheral neuropathy is caused by diabetes, very often the exact cause is not known. Approximately 20 percent of sufferers never know what caused their condition. There is no real treatment for neuropathy in the feet, but you can relieve symptoms. Creams, supplements, and other remedies can help with pain and replenish nutrients.
To fight it, you must keep your feet very clean and inspect them every day. Your shoes should fit properly. As your foot becomes more numb, then you may not know if you’ve injured it, which can lead to an infection if untreated.
Hopefully with this guide to how diabetic neuropathy affects your feet, you will know the symptoms to look for and contact your doctor immediately if you have them.