Diabetic Neuropathy Foot Problems - How to Prevent Them
People living with diabetes, over time, may develop nerve damage in the foot. While some people with this form of nerve damage may experience no symptoms, others may have numbness, loss of feeling in the foot or toes, pain and tingling sensations.
Diabetic neuropathies may occur in nearly any part of the body; however, the foot is one of the more common areas to experience problems in those with the disease. People who have had diabetes for over 25 years are the most susceptible to diabetic foot neuropathy.
Causes of Neuropathy in the Foot
There are a lot of causes for diabetic neuropathy to occur. Researchers have studies how the prolonged exposure to high blood glucose can lead to nerve damage in the foot, as well as other parts of the body. Nerve damage is likely due to a combination of factors, including:
· Metabolic factors, such as high blood glucose, long duration of diabetes, abnormal blood fat levels, and possibly low levels of insulin
· Neurovascular factors, leading to damage to the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to nerves
· Autoimmune factors that cause inflammation in nerves
· Mechanical injury to nerves, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
· Inherited traits that increase susceptibility to nerve disease
· Lifestyle factors, such as smoking or alcohol use
Prevention of Neuropathy
If you are experiencing any symptoms, such as numbness or tingling sensations in the foot or toes, pain or tenderness in the foot, or a loss of feeling in the foot or toes, it is important to undergo complete medical testing. Your doctor will diagnose the problem based on they symptoms reported as well as a physical examination.
The best way to prevent neuropathy is to keep the blood glucose levels as close to the normal range as possible. This means that maintaining safe blood glucose levels will help you avoid acquiring any symptoms associated with neuropathy and ultimately prevent the condition from occurring.
Regular foot exams are necessary, especially for those who have been diagnosed with diabetes, or have lived with the disease for a prolonged period of time. If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy already, you will require even more foot examinations.
Comprehensive foot exams should include assessment of the skin, muscles, bones circulation and sensation of the feet. Pressure and pinprick tests may be conducted to assess the level of neuropathy or to ensure that preventative measures are being taken. Nerve conduction studies and tests may be required throughout the assessment of care.