Diabetic Foot Pain – Diabetic Neuropathy – Symptoms of Diabetic Foot Pain

Diabetic foot pain is called diabetic neuropathy. This occurs when long-standing diabetes has kept blood sugar levels high for many years.  Initially, diabetic foot pain might include feeling sharp pains or pins and needles pain.  Or, it can manifest as a sharp, burning, aching pain.  This can lead to painful walking or pain when touched.   The increased pain transmissions eventually cause nerve cells to become damaged and they no longer feel pain.  As time goes on, the nerve cells may be permanently affected and die.  Ultimately, this may result in the inability to feel pain in the feet.  The feet may feel numb.  You may not feel your feet when walking.

While diabetic neuropathy may affect both the feet and legs as well as the hands and arms, it usually occurs in the feet and legs first.  Due to this, it is necessary to check feet regularly.  There could be some injury to the foot of which you are not aware.  Check for swelling, sores and cuts.   Infected feet can lead to complications.  Dry feet thoroughly when washing them. Wear comfortable shoes. Your feet need room to move. Due to poor circulation the feet are less capable of healing from infection.  Use thick socks, slippers, and shoes to prevent injuries to feet.  Do not go barefoot.

Damaged nerves cannot be repaired. While there is no cure, there are treatments to lessen to discomfort and pain.  Lifestyle changes can be made that help diminish the advance of the disease.  Once a person is aware that he or she has diabetic neuropathy, the patient can work to control blood sugar so it does not progress.  Control blood sugar.  This is very important.

There are other things that can be done as well.  Take special care of your feet.  The person best suited to check your feet is a podiatrist. He can help determine the health of your feet.  Fix foot problems such as hammertoes, corns, and bunions.   Use fitted orthopedic shoes if necessary.  Diabetes reduces blood flow to the feet, thus reducing oxygen and nutrients to the feet. This makes it more difficult for cuts and sores to heal.  The reason you need well-fitting shoes is that any rubbing may turn into a sore that does not heal and that can lead to other complications.  The best time to get fitted for shoes is at the end of a day when your feet are swollen.  Make sure your feet feel comfortable in the shoes and that the shoes are not tight and do not rub your feet.

While diabetic neuropathy may start with a feeling of pins and needles or tingling, there may be other signs.   Sharp pains or cramping may occur. Losing balance or walking with a wobbly motion may also indicate diabetic peripheral neuropathy.   This is because it attacks not only the feet, but the ankles.  Misshapen feet or toes, like hammertoes, are another sign.  Other symptoms are how hands or feet perceive temperature changes. Things may feel excessively hot or cold. Or, hands and feet may be very cold or hot.  Bedsheets at night may feel heavy or painful, so much so that it becomes difficult to sleep.

Some people who have peripheral neuropathy do not realize it.  They are not aware that they have diabetes.  Some of the various things that affect blood sugar are weight, exercise, diet, smoking and medications.  Stop smoking as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Start exercising.  Exercise that has minimum impact on the feet is biking and swimming.  Controlling diabetic neuropathy involves controlling blood sugar. How long you have controlled blood sugar is a big factor.  A healthy lifestyle and strict blood sugar control can slow diabetic neuropathy.  Talk to your doctor.

High blood sugar weakens small blood capillaries that supply nerves with nutrients and oxygen.  It is believed that the effect on the circulatory system ultimately affects the nerves of the nervous system.  Ultimately, diabetic neuropathy can go on to affect other systems of the body such as the urinary tract, digestive tract, and heart.  To help prevent diabetic neuropathy it is necessary to keep blood sugar well-controlled.

Another word for diabetic foot pain or diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy.  Peripheral neuropathy refers to neuropathy in the outer portions of your body such as your hands, arms, fingers, toes, feet and legs.  One of the most common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy is tingling in the feet and toes.  Sensitive feet is one of the most common symptoms.  At night the symptoms may be worse. There may be cramps or pain in the toes, feet and legs.

The best approach is prevention. Prevention is better than trying to cure the problem once it occurs.  If you think you may have diabetes, or peripheral neuropathy, write down the symptoms you are experiencing when you experience them. This will prevent forgetting them when you do get a chance to talk to your doctor.  The seriousness of preventing peripheral diabetes is this. If unchecked, if wounds or cuts to the feet do not heal, the end result might be amputation.  It has been proven that when blood glucose levels are kept low, when good foot care is practiced, and when foot problems are taken care of promptly, it aids in the prevention of peripheral diabetes. In today’s world, there are lower amputation rates due to people managing diabetes better.  Be sure to treat this topic seriously and pass this article on if you know of someone who might benefit from it.  Their ultimate life health can be affected by whether or not they deal with this problem.

 

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