While at first the inability to feel pain, pressure, or heat might seem useful or even beneficial to everyday life, there are a plethora of negative effects that such a condition has on the human body. Individuals who can’t sense signals from their own body often find themselves with wounds they have no recollection of getting.
Such patients will even continue to walk on these injuries and further the damage that has already been done. These people are not even able to safely walk barefoot, as they cannot detect whether a walking surface is too hot or cold, or if it’s likely to cause them damage. For many Americans, this foot problem is a reality known as neuropathy, which often develops with the progression of diabetes.
What is diabetic neuropathy?
This condition develops as the excessive levels of glucose begin to damage the body’s nervous system. This problem is even further compounded by the fact that high blood sugar levels decrease a nerve’s ability to transmit signals to the brain, and therefore to the immune system. As diabetes continues, glucose levels will reduce capillary integrity and reduce the flow of oxygen and nutrients necessary for healing those damaged nerves. The result of this damage is a loss of sensation or even pain in the lower limbs. One of the most dangerous aspects of this foot condition is that many patients can develop wounds and ulcerations, but they forego proper treatment measures because without the symptom of pain they are unaware of the damage being done. Diabetic neuropathy is commonly developed as a result of hereditary conditions as well as smoking and alcohol abuse. To find out if you’re at risk, contact our McPherson office as soon as possible.
How is this problem treated?
As nerve damage cannot be undone, it is vital that patients begin treatment immediately upon detecting this debilitating condition. At the Community Foot Clinic we focus on podiatric methods that slow the development of the neuropathy, on pain management, and on restoring functionality to the feet and ankles. As with many conditions that form from diabetic stressors, treating the diabetes itself is the first step in recovery. Individuals will experience less damage to their nervous system as they control their blood sugar regularly. Patients who choose the most minor lifestyle changes in their diabetic foot care will often experience some rather large health benefits. Pain relief can often be acquired through the utilization of proper oral medications and topical creams. As every case is unique to each patient, proper foot care procedures should be professionally diagnosed so that the best treatment methods are prescribed.
Diabetes comes with various complications, but there’s no need to let foot and ankle problems add to that list. Contact our McPherson office at 620-241-3313 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Trent Timson today and find out what you can do for your diabetic neuropathy.
What are the associated symptoms of this condition?
There are different forms of this disease; peripheral neuropathy is the most common form. This nerve problem is distinguished by its likelihood to cause decreased sensation of temperature, pressure, and pain in the lower limbs. With damage to the nervous system, many patients detect a tingling or burning sensation that may worsen at night or during activity.
As this condition often leads to other severe foot and ankle problems, the occurrence of pain in the bones, deformities, infections, or wounds that won’t heal are all signs of the development of neuropathy as well. In extreme cases, some individuals have developed gangrene without realizing it.