What is it?
Having diabetes can create a variety of long term health problems. If blood sugar levels are not properly managed for an extended period of time, serious complications may occur. Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication that causes damage to nerves in the feet and legs. As a result of this damage, there may be reduced feeling in the hands and feet, possible tingling sensations, foot pain, and the inability to feel hot or cold.
What is the Cause?
Diabetic Neuropathy is caused by a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include: high blood glucose levels, having diabetes for an extended period of time, kidney disease, being overweight and having low levels of insulin. Other factors include smoking and alcohol abuse that can cause damage to blood vessels, whose primary role is to carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves. Additionally, there are some genetic components that simply make some diabetic patients more susceptible to Diabetic Neuropathy.
Once nerves are damaged, they cannot be replaced. Nevertheless, there are several treatment options that can help to reduce foot pain and prevent further nerve damage.
Daily inspection of the feet and toes for any changes or concerns is very important. Managing the disease, by exercise and maintaining a healthy diet can also help to lower blood sugar levels.
To help manage nerve pain, over the counter pain relievers can treat mild to moderate pain, and prescription medications can alleviate more severe pain. It is crucial to work closely with the healthcare team to monitor diabetes and related conditions. Daily inspection of the feet and toes is essential, in order to identify any changes or concerns. A Chiropodist or Podiatrist will educate the patient on how to conduct daily inspections of the feet will recommend a treatment plan based on the specific condition.