Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage caused by diabetes. When it affects the arms, hands, legs or feet it is known as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is different from peripheral arterial disease (poor circulation) which affects blood vessels rather than the nerves.
Among the more likely symptoms for diabetic peripheral neuropathy are numbness or reduced ability to feel pain or temperature changes, burning or tingling, increased touch sensitivity, muscle weakness or loss of balance and possible loss of reflexes in the lower leg.
Uncontrolled sugar levels over a long period-of-time is a significant risk factor. Being overweight, smoking and alcohol abuse also increases risk. Genetics can influence how quickly or how slowly nerves are affected by high blood glucose (sugar) levels.
The most likely cause is when high blood sugar weakens the walls of the small blood vessels (capillaries) that supply the nerves with oxygen and interferes with the ability of the nerves to transmit signals. However, in addition to diabetes, there are other possible causes including an autoimmune system response that attacks the nerve endings, genetic factors make some people more susceptible, and smoking or alcohol abuse which can damage blood vessels and nerves.
Because there is no known cure for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, most treatment focuses on reducing pain, slowing the progression of the disease and restoring function in affected areas.
Treatment options include keeping sugar levels within a specific target range, and good foot care. Patients should also aim for getting to an appropriate weight, staying active, stopping smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
The Concierge Podiatry Advantage
Using nutritional supplements, special customized orthotics and laser treatment, we are able to alleviate some symptoms of the disease.
At Concierge Podiatry we specialize in treating all podiatric issues. We take the time needed to diagnose and explain any treatment options before beginning any course of treatment.
- Contact Concierge Podiatry for an appointment
- Learn more about treatment options often used to treat this issue