What you need to know about diabetic neuropathy

Diabetes education is important overall, but perhaps one of the most significant components is foot care. We asked Ashley Bojrab, DPM, PPG – Podiatry, to tell us more about diabetic neuropathy and how those living with diabetes can avoid further complications.

Definition

Patients who have diabetes can develop something called diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is damage to the nerves which can be painful and debilitating.  According to the American Diabetes Association, about half of people with diabetes will have some type of nerve damage.  

People who do not have a diabetes diagnosis can suffer from neuropathy as well, as a result of nerve damage. This can be caused by other diseases such as alcoholism, back issues, thyroid disease, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, gastrointestinal problems, and many others.

Symptoms

Typically, neuropathy affects the feet and legs, but it can affect the hands, arms, abdomen and back. Common symptoms are numbness, burning and tingling sensations, which can cause pain. 

Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for diabetic neuropathy. There are treatments, such as medication, that can be used to help manage pain and symptoms. Controlling your blood sugar is the best way to slow the progression of this disease.

If the symptoms become painful and intolerable, it would be recommended to see a primary care provider for management.

 

 

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