You were diagnosed with diabetes about five years ago, and since then you’ve been meticulous about monitoring your glucose levels, taking your medications, and generally caring for the disease. When you were growing up, all four of your grandparents were diabetic, and you saw first hand the pain and effects the disease had when improperly treated—hence the meticulousness.
However, over the past few months, even though you’ve been sticking with your treatment program, you’ve been experiencing strange sensations in your legs and feet. Sometimes the sensation is a mild tingling, while other times it’s sharp and painful.
What could it be? Could these sensations be a result of your diabetes? Why is it suddenly happening? How can you make it stop?
Nerve Damage and Diabetic Neuropathy: The Cause of Your Pain
According to the American Diabetes Association’s National Diabetes Statistics Report, as of 2014, 29 million people in the U.S. suffer from diabetes, and that number is steadily growing. In addition to the daily trials of diabetes, over 50 percent (15 million) of these sufferers have some form of diabetic nerve damage known as neuropathy.
Neuropathy is a disorder caused by diabetes that essentially leads to prolonged nerve damage. This damage can affect nerves all over the body; depending on where the damage is located, it is classified as one of four types:
- Peripheral neuropathy affects the legs and feet.
- Autonomic neuropathy causes changes in digestion, bowel and bladder function, sexual response, and can also affect the nerves that serve the heart and control blood pressure
- Proximal neuropathy affects hips, thighs, and buttocks.
- Focal neuropathy can affect any nerve in the body and results in the sudden weakness of a single nerve or a group of nerves, causing muscle weakness or pain.
Peripheral neuropathy is by far the most common form of nerve damage in diabetics, and can be extremely painful if not properly monitored and treated. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:
- Tingling in the legs or feet
- Numbness. Severe or long-term numbness can become permanent
- Burning pain, especially in the evening
- Pain when moving as well as when resting
- Wasting of the muscles of the feet or hands
- Dizziness or faintness due to a drop in blood pressure after standing or sitting up
- Loss of foot sensation, increasing risk that foot problems will go unnoticed and then worsen. When foot and leg problems go unnoticed, they can degenerate the limbs and muscles, requiring drastic steps such as amputation.
Stopping the Pain
Diabetes is beyond stressful without having to worry about constant foot pain and the possibility of amputations. You’re dealing with enough; allow us to lessen the burden of peripheral neuropathy. Contact us today or come see us to make an appointment. We can not only help decrease the pain, but also help teach you preventative care in order to ensure the lasting health of your legs and feet.
You owe it to yourself to let us care for you and your feet. Call now!
Need more information about diabetic foot injuries and care? Feel free to browse our site for more in-depth articles, updates, and foot care advice.