Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Had No Idea that I Had No Idea!

Many of us know that there are numerous complications associated with diabetes, and one of great importance is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy. This condition can be defined as nerve damage to the body’s lower extremities— the legs, feet, and toes.

Your nerves carry messages between the brain and the body. If nerves are damaged, the messages will not be able to travel. This lack of communication between the brain and the body might cause you to be unable to notice or feel anything wrong with your feet: feeling hot or cold, pain or sores, the difference between ill and proper-fitting shoes. Many diabetics are shocked to learn that they are unable to detect serious injuries to their feet.

The nerve damage may cause you to feel symptoms such as tingling, a feeling of pins and needles, burning, loss of sensation, sharp pain, or numbness. Muscle weakness and balance problems are also commonly experienced with this type of neuropathy.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a very serious matter because wound healing is slower in diabetic patients. If a wound heals too slowly, or fails to heal at all, the initial foot trauma could potentially lead to amputation. For example, if an ulcer is unable to heal, and has caused severe damage to surrounding areas (tissue and bone), the safest form of action would be to surgically remove the damaged part from the body. This means that any part of the lower extremity— a toe, foot, or leg, can be amputated.

To prevent diabetic peripheral neuropathy, diabetic patients should keep their blood sugar levels under control, carefully trim their nails, and keep feet clean and dry. They should also inspect their feet daily for blisters, burns, sores, ulcers, cuts and other puncture wounds. If you are a diabetic patient, please remember to get a diabetic foot exam at least once a year, or if you have foot issues more frequently, please see your podiatrist and primary care physician more regularly.

Community Foot Specialists - Podiatrists/Foot & Ankle Surgeons Serving Dayton and Springfield, Ohio Call today to schedule your appointment! (937) 426-9500

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