Three different groups of nerves can be affected by diabetic neuropathy:
- Sensory nerves, which enable people to feel pain, temperature, and other sensations
- Motor nerves, which control the muscles and give them their strength and tone
- Autonomic nerves, which allow the body to perform certain involuntary functions, such as sweating.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy doesn’t emerge overnight—instead, it usually develops slowly and worsens over time. Some patients have this condition long before they are diagnosed with diabetes. Having diabetes for several years may increase the likelihood of having diabetic neuropathy.
The loss of sensation and other problems associated with nerve damage make a patient prone to developing skin ulcers (open sores) that can become infected and may not heal. This serious complication of diabetes can lead to loss of a foot, a leg, or even a life.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | Symptoms
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | For sensory neuropathy:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet
- Pain or discomfort in the feet or legs – including prickly, sharp pain or burning feet
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | For motor neuropathy:
- Muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone in the feet and lower legs
- Loss of balance
- Changes in foot shape that can lead to areas of increased pressure
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | For autonomic neuropathy:
- Dry feet
- Cracked skin
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | Diagnosis
To diagnose diabetic peripheral neuropathy, Premier Podiatry Group will obtain the patient’s history of symptoms and will perform simple in-office tests on the feet and legs. This evaluation may include assessment of the patient’s reflexes, ability to feel light touch, and ability to feel vibration. In some cases, additional neurological tests may be ordered.
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | Treatment
- Diabetic peripheral neuropathy centers on control of the patient’s blood sugar level
- Medications are available to help relieve specific symptoms, such as tingling or burning
- Physical Therapy
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy | Prevention
Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy – You play a vital role in reducing complications associated with diabetes
- Keep blood sugar levels under control
- Wear well-fitting shoes to avoid getting sores
- Inspect your feet every day
- Visit Premier Podiatry Group on a regular basis for an examination to help prevent the foot complications of diabetes
- Have periodic visits with your primary care physician or endocrinologist. Premier Podiatry Group will work with your primary care provider to prevent and treat the complications associated with diabetes