It is common for diabetic patients to have nerve damage that causes a lack of sensation in the feet. This nerve damage, known as neuropathy, can cause many complications, including infection and sometimes the need for amputation. If you are not feeling pain in your feet, don’t assume your feet are healthy. You can still be experiencing a serious problem, and you should consult with an experienced podiatrist for an evaluation. Diabetes and loss of feeling in the feet

Common Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy often causes pain or burning in the feet and/or loss of feeling or sensation. This is due to poor circulation and can lead to serious problems. Some signs that you may have diabetic neuropathy are:

  • Tingling
  • Pain or burning
  • Loss of feeling
  • Inability to feel hot or cold
  • Loss of hair on lower legs, feet, or toes
  • Change in the shape or color of the feet or toes

Possible Complications of Nerve Damage

When nerve damage causes diabetic neuropathy, you may experience no pain in your feet and believe they’re healthy. However, without feeling in your feet, it may be difficult for you to notice if you have a cut or blister on your foot or toe. An untreated wound can lead to a foot ulcer which, if left untreated, will often lead to an infection and sometimes amputation. Nerve damage can affect your ability to heal, so a foot ulcer can become a serious problem if not treated early.

Some complications that can result from diabetic neuropathy are:

  • Slow healing wounds
  • Foot ulcers
  • Bone infection
  • Blood infection
  • Amputation

Diagnosing Diabetic Neuropathy

When you have diabetes, it is important to see a podiatrist regularly to check for any changes or problems with your feet. The following conditions may put you at risk for neuropathy, so you should consult with a podiatrist regularly:

  • Having a high blood glucose level
  • Being overweight
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having high cholesterol
  • Having a vitamin deficiency

A podiatrist can diagnose neuropathy by doing the following:

  • A physical exam to check for sensitivity to touch and temperature
  • A blood test to check your glucose levels
  • A review of your health history to help determine the cause of the neuropathy

There is no cure for diabetic neuropathy; however, once your doctor makes a diagnosis, a treatment plan will be recommended. The goal of treatment is to decrease any pain, improve the health of your feet, and to slow down the progression of the neuropathy. A podiatrist may recommend the following treatments to help reduce symptoms:

  • Custom orthotics
  • Diabetic shoes
  • Foot soaks
  • Foot creams to reduce pain
  • Medication

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy

There are several things to do that can help prevent nerve damage and stop neuropathy from progressing. You can keep perform daily checks of your feet for any signs of an ulcer or problem. Also, maintaining a healthy blood glucose level is important and can help prevent further complications. Seeing a podiatrist regularly, and at the first sign of a problem, is essential to diabetes management.

Additionally, to help prevent nerve damage, you should:

  • Stop smoking and refrain from using alcohol
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Not walk barefoot
  • Wear shoes that fit properly
  • Wear socks daily to protect your feet
  • Wash your feet daily with a mild soap and warm water
  • Dry your feet thoroughly, taking extra care between your toes
  • Stay physically active

Contact Us for an Appointment

If you are experiencing a loss of sensation in your feet, Capital Podiatry Associates, PC is available to help. We can provide the care you need based on your personal condition. To book an appointment in our office or through telemedicine, call us, or fill out our online contact form.

 

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment