It can be tough to adjust to retirement, especially if you are learning to live with diabetes. You test your blood sugar regularly and try to stick to a healthy diet, but your activity level has fallen down considerably. You want to get back out on the trails, but the fear of developing a foot ulcer is overwhelming—especially now that you’re having problems feeling your feet and toes.
Early Symptoms of Neuropathy
One of the most common complications of diabetes is neuropathy, or a loss of feeling in the feet and legs. High levels of blood sugar prevent the nerves in your body from transmitting signals, resulting in numbness or tingling. While symptoms may start in the legs, they can also spread to the fingers, hands, and arms if blood sugar levels are not brought under control.
You may be suffering from diabetic neuropathy if you:
Have a constant tingling or burning feeling in your feet
Cannot feel pain in your feet or toes
Have trouble wearing socks or shoes because it is too painful
Cannot feel changes in temperature in your feet or toes
Experience pain in your feet when walking
Feel a sharp or stinging pain in your feet that is noticeable at night
Are experiencing muscle weakness or problems walking
Why is Neuropathy Dangerous?
Diabetic neuropathy not only causes numbness in the feet, it can lead to a host of other health problems. It can compromise circulation to your limbs by damaging the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to your extremities.
Neuropathy creates a perfect environment for diabetic patients to suffer an infection: at first, they do not feel the pain of a cut or sore on their feet, and the loss of circulation makes it less likely that the cut will heal. Finally, when the cut becomes infected, neuropathy suppresses the immune system, causing infection from the foot ulcer to spread throughout the body. If the ulcer progresses, there may be no way to stop the infection other than amputation of the dead tissue, causing the loss of a toe, foot, or leg.
At Sierra Foot & Ankle, we believe our diabetic patients should not live in fear of suffering dangerous foot ulcers. Our treatments can help prevent neuropathy from developing, as well as reverse the effects of nerve damage in our patients’ feet and legs. At your appointment, board-certified podiatrist Dr. Victoria Melhuish will examine your feet and toes for potential problem areas, diagnose the extent of your condition, and advise you on proper footwear options to keep your feet injury-free. We also offer Neurogenx treatments for patients with advanced neuropathy, helping them to recover feeling and avoid tissue damage.
Early treatment is vital for avoiding complications of neuropathy, so we offer same-day appointments for patients who need emergency care. Call us today at (775) 783-8037 to start your treatment today, or fill out our quick appointment request form to have our staff contact you.