Diabetic neuropathy is the numbness, pain, and weakness that develops in your feet because of nerve damage. When the nerves that travel to the feet are no longer sending or receiving adequate messages from the brain, neuropathy develops.
In diabetes, uncontrolled high blood sugar interferes with your nerves’ ability to send signals. High blood sugar can also weaken the walls of the small blood vessels that are essential to providing nutrients and oxygen to your nerves. The resulting damage means you get the symptoms of neuropathy and possible long-term damage to your feet and health.
At Go Feet, Dr. Stuart Honick and his team understand the challenges diabetic neuropathy poses to your overall health, especially the health of your feet. We can help men and women in the Linwood, and Mays Landing areas of New Jersey manage the condition and prevent complications.
Symptoms of neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy first shows up in the feet and legs, but can extend to your arms and hands. You may first notice neuropathy as numbness and an inability to feel changes in temperature or pain. Other signs of diabetic neuropathy include:
- Tingling or burning in your feet, legs, hands, or arms
- Sharp pain or cramping in your extremities
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased reflexes
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
Diabetic neuropathy can also make it so ulcers and infections won’t heal. This can lead to such serious complications that amputation is required. At Go Feet, we want to help you prevent these serious effects of diabetic neuropathy.
Management of neuropathy
Know that smoking exacerbates diabetic neuropathy. A number one step in preventing and managing the condition is to quit the habit. Another major way to tackle the condition is to keep close tabs on your blood sugar to ensure it’s consistently within target range. Whenever your blood sugar shifts, it can hasten nerve damage. Test daily, and go in for regular A1C tests as prescribed by your diabetic specialist.
At Go Feet, we can also help you take good care of your feet. This helps prevent complications of neuropathy associated with infection and poor healing. Schedule at least one comprehensive foot exam a year. At home, give your feet daily attention by:
- Doing regular foot checks looking for blisters, cuts, cracked skin, or swelling
- Cleaning your feet with mild soap and lukewarm water – dry them, too, even between the toes
- Trimming toenails so they’re cut straight across to avoid ingrown nails; file the edges as well
- Putting on clean, dry socks
- Choosing cushioned shoes that fit your feet well
It’s best for you to wear shoes or slippers – some sort of foot covering – to prevent cuts or other injury. Your shoes should let your toes move around and not be too tight. We can help you find just the right pair.
If you have diabetes, your chances of developing neuropathy are great. Take pristine care of your health and your feet to prevent this complication or minimize its effects on your body. Call the office of Go Feet, or schedule an appointment using this online tool for assistance in preventing neuropathy from turning into a more serious condition.