As you adjust to life with diabetes, things can take some getting used to. That’s especially true if you develop diabetic neuropathy, which is a condition that affects about half of people with diabetes.
Diabetic neuropathy usually makes the lower extremities — and particularly the feet — feel different. You might notice everything from numbness to a stabbing sensation.
Fortunately, we can help. Our team at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center specializes in diagnosing and treating neuropathy. At our offices in Mesa, Laveen, and Chandler, Arizona, we can help you get the care you need to keep your feet and legs as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Diabetic neuropathy 101
If you’re diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, it means your high blood sugar levels have taken a toll on your nerves. Over time, if you consistently have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood, it can damage your nerves.
In most people with diabetes, that nerve damage happens in the extremities: the feet, legs, hands, and arms. Doctors call this peripheral neuropathy. Usually, the bulk of peripheral neuropathy symptoms center around the feet and lower legs.
The nerve damage happening in the lower extremities can cause a variety of symptoms, such as:
- Stabbing pain
- Muscle weakness
As the nerves get damaged, your ability to feel sensations in the affected areas can change. Some people can experience heightened sensitivity — even a light touch might feel uncomfortable — while others may feel numbness.
That numbness can play a big role when it comes to complications, especially in the feet. For example, if you get a small cut on the bottom of your foot, you may not feel it. Over time, the cut could develop into a diabetic ulcer.
If it’s not treated, the condition could even lead to the need to amputate the affected foot. To avoid this outcome, it’s imperative that you examine your feet regularly if you have diabetic neuropathy.
Getting relief from your symptoms
If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy, our team can give you a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan to help you get relief. Your treatment plan will depend on your unique case, but it could include any of the following:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Topical numbing creams or patches
- Nerve decompression
- Neurolysis, which interrupts the nerve’s ability to send pain signals
In short, we have a variety of tools and treatments that may be able to give you relief. At the same time, our team can evaluate your feet periodically to help you address other potential problems, such as diabetic ulcers. As we team up with you, we can help you get relief from immediate issues and help you stay as healthy as possible in the long run.
If you have diabetic neuropathy and want treatment, or if you want to see if you have the condition, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today. We have offices in Mesa, Laveen, and Chandler, Arizona.