Managing Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

“Neuropathy” is a term that means nerve disease. Peripheral neuropathy means the affected nerves are located in the arms, hands, legs, and feet, as opposed to our central nervous system. Nerve issues can be particularly debilitating, as they lead to numbness, loss of sensation, tingling, and weakness that progressively get worse over time. These limit our ability to differentiate between hot and cold, sharp and dull, or and many other sensations. Fortunately, steps can be taken to slow or even halt the progression of diabetic neuropathy.

Individuals with diabetes are unable to bring the sugar from their blood into their cells, resulting in abnormal levels of blood sugar. As a result, glucose inadvertently enters some nerve tissues and damages them irreversibly, leading to the abovementioned effects over time. Diabetics are encouraged to take some of the following precautions in order to maintain healthy feet:

·Inspect the feet regularly for corns and calluses, as these areas of friction and pressure may be prone to ulcers that heal slowly

·Trim toenails slowly to avoid creating a sharp edge that will lead to an ingrown toenail

·Do not soak feet in hot water or warm them with a heating pad, as this may result in accidental burns

·Use caution when walking barefoot, as stepping on a sharp object may go unnoticed

·Inspect the inside of your shoes for foreign objects before putting them on

Wearing specially made protective shoes might be the preferred way to increase comfort, but keeping blood sugar levels in check is the only true way to limit the onset of symptoms. At the Foot and Ankle Clinics of North Houston, the doctors make use of a special machine called the Doppler to non-invasively assess blood flow through your ankles to your feet. At any of their six offices in the North Houston, Texas area, they are prepared to deliver expert care for diabetic wounds, bunions, and more. If you would like to request an appointment or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or call us at (281) 444-4114!