Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage to the legs and feet caused by diabetes. It affects as many as half of all people suffering from diabetes. As with any diabetic complication, you must keep a close eye on how it develops. A podiatric specialist can help. Kriti Puthenpurakal, DPM, at American Foot & Ankle Specialists in Naperville, Illinois, has many years of experience working with people with diabetes. Book an appointment today over the phone or online.
Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage that affects people with diabetes. It happens when high blood sugar damages the nerves in your body.
The four types of diabetic neuropathy are:
Peripheral neuropathy affects the feet and legs. Dr. Puthenpurakal takes measures to slow its progress or reduce the risk of it developing in the first place.
The symptoms vary depending on the type of diabetic neuropathy you have and the nerves affected. Peripheral neuropathy takes time to develop, and the symptoms often go unnoticed until they’re severe. The symptoms include:
Dr. Puthenpurakal diagnoses diabetic neuropathy and creates a treatment program to ease pain and discomfort.
The cause of diabetic neuropathy is unknown, but medical researchers point to uncontrolled blood sugar as causing significant nerve damage, leading to diabetic neuropathy. Other things that increase your risk of developing the condition include:
Having a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 increases your risk.
Kidney damage sends toxins into your blood, increasing your risk of nerve damage.
Smoking damages your arteries, which reduces blood flow to your legs and feet. The reduced blood flow can damage peripheral nerves.
Reduce the chances of diabetic neuropathy developing by examining your lifestyle and changing things where necessary.
There’s no known cure for diabetic neuropathy. Treatment slows the rate at which it gets worse, reduces its complications, and relieves the pain it causes. Keeping your blood sugar within a target range, maintaining a healthy weight, eating right, and getting regular exercise all contribute long-term benefits.
Depending on how advanced your condition is, Dr. Puthenpurakal can recommend any of the following:
Antidepressants and antiseizure drugs both ease nerve pain. Dr. Puthenpurakal might recommend that you combine these with over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®).
You can try alternative treatments, including TENS machine, acupuncture, antioxidant foods, and capsaicin cream. However, speak with Dr. Puthenpurakal before trying any alternative therapies as they could interfere with prescription medicines.
Take control of your health. Make an appointment at American Foot & Ankle Specialists today over the phone or through the online scheduling tool.