Diabetic neuropathy is serious and common nerve damage that occurs in people with diabetes. This is caused by long term high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and obesity. Diabetic neuropathy develops gradually and worsens over the course of time.
It can affect the nerves outside the skull, and the spinal cord. It also affects the nerves which control the functioning of many organs, like bladder, heart, and intestines. Additionally, it affects the nerves outside of the body like the hands and feet.
You can often prevent neuropathy or slow its progress with tight diet control, blood sugar control and a healthy lifestyle.
Types of Diabetic Neuropathy
The four main types of neuropathy which impact the nervous system are:
- Autonomic neuropathy
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Proximal neuropathy
- Focal neuropathy
Symptoms of Diabetic Neuropathy
- Loss of sense of touch
- Burning sensation in the leg and feet
- Numbness or pain in hands and feet
- Feeling full sooner than usual
- Weakness in the muscles
- Bladder problems
- Trouble in vision
- Decreased or excessive sweating
Foot Diabetic Neuropathy Treatment
Diabetic neuropathy refers to nerve damage that can occur in individuals with diabetes, particularly affecting the feet. Here is a short description of the treatment options for foot diabetic neuropathy:
- Blood sugar control: Maintaining good blood sugar levels is crucial in managing and preventing further progression of diabetic neuropathy. This involves following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking prescribed medications as directed by a healthcare professional.
- Pain management: Medications such as over-the-counter pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen) or prescription drugs (e.g., gabapentin, pregabalin) may be used to alleviate the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy. Topical treatments like lidocaine patches or capsaicin creams may also provide some relief.
- Foot care: Proper foot care is essential in preventing complications and managing symptoms. This includes regular foot inspections, washing and drying the feet thoroughly, wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes, and avoiding activities that may cause foot injuries.
- Physical therapy: Exercises and physical therapy techniques can help improve strength, balance, and coordination in the feet and legs. These therapies may also help relieve pain and enhance overall mobility.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): TENS therapy involves using a small, battery-powered device that delivers mild electrical impulses to the affected area. This can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with diabetic neuropathy.
- Alternative therapies: Some individuals find relief from complementary approaches such as acupuncture, massage therapy, or biofeedback. While their effectiveness may vary, these treatments can be considered in conjunction with traditional medical approaches.
It is important to note that the specific treatment plan for foot diabetic neuropathy should be tailored to the individual’s needs and coordinated with a healthcare professional specializing in diabetes management or neurology.
When to See a Doctor
Call your physician for an appointment if you have:
- Change in your digestion, sexual or urination function
- Weakness or burning sensation in your feet or hands
- A cut in your foot which is taking a long time to heal
There are various types of neuropathy that affect different areas in our body. There are different types of symptoms for each neuropathy, if you have diabetics, regularly check with your physician and maintain a healthy diet.